Anonymous may hack Mars rover ‘Curiosity’

LONDON: NASA’s Mars rover ‘Curiosity’ might be facing a hacking threat from the notorious hacker group, Anonymous, a US security firm has claimed.

Anonymous had reportedly brought down websites including Visa and several US government sites as a protest against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s arrest, and ‘Curiosity’ could be their next target, the Daily Mail reported.

A New York security firm claimed to have spotted a message on an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) asking for help to hack into the signals NASA uses to communicate with the Curiosity rover.

Flashpoint Partners spotted a message by user ‘MarsCuriosity’ in one of the Anonymous-related IRC channels that it monitors known as the AnonOps IRC channel.

“Anyone in Madrid, Spain or Canbarra who can help isolate the huge control signal used for the Mars Odyssey / Curiosity system please?” the message read.

“The cypher and hopping is a standard mode, just need base frequency and recordings/feed of the huge signal going out. (yes we can spoof it both directions!),” it added.

There is speculation by online discussion groups that the message could be a fake, or even an attempt by law enforcement agencies to trap hackers, the report said.

‘Curiosity’ had made a spectacular landing in Gale Crater at 05:30 GMT (11:00 IST) on August 6 in a two-year search to find out if the red planet once hosted conditions suitable for life.

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