A Romanian hacker known as TinKode has broken into the FTP server of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre.
TinKode captured and posted a screenshot to his blog Tuesday, claiming that it came from a FTP server of Nasa's Earth Observation System, its disaster-relief system.
It showed files connected to Nasa's SERVIR programme that used satellite data to obtain information on climate change, health risks and disaster relief.
Although it was unclear how TinKode broke in it doesn't appear that it exploited the vulnerability to malicious ends.
TinKode boasted of the hack Tuesday on Twitter. "NASA Goddard Space Flight Center--Hacked) 1 Server Access."
TinKode was best known for hacking attacks against the MYSQL.com servers in March and broke into the servers of the European Space Agency last month, after which he published FTP accounts, email addresses and administrative passwords. The hacker did not publicly publish exploit code.
Nasa spokesman Rob Gutro confirmed the Goddard breach but said it occurred last month.
"The necessary steps were taken to protect the infrastructure at that time," Gutro said.
"NASA doesn't discuss the details of our IT security but remains vigilant to secure the security of our sites."
TinKode told Network World that he alerted Nasa's webmaster following the hack, while maintaining that he engaged in hacking activities in an effort to expose security vulnerabilities, not to launch malicious or information stealing attacks.
The breach came just months after a negative audit revealed critical security vulnerabilities in the space agency's computer systems that leave it vulnerable to malicious external attacks such as denial of service, sabotage and data theft.