Computerworld Obtains Sensitive, Militarily Significant Documents from Hacked NASA Database

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 8, 2002 – IDG's Computerworld this afternoon announced that it has obtained militarily significant design documents pertaining to next-generation reusable space vehicles. The information was passed to Computerworld reporter and security expert Dan Verton by a Latin American hacker known only by the nickname RaFa.


The detailed engineering drawings and mechanical design information were restricted under current export laws from being shared with foreign nationals and governments, and are also strictly controlled under the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Government contractors including Boeing Co., Pratt & Whitney and Aerojet authored the documents, and each of the vendors had labeled the information "competition sensitive."

A NASA spokesman confirmed with Computerworld that the documents contain sensitive military information and should have been stored in a closed database.

Verton notes that the most immediate concern is that the documents could contain information that would be used to counter the capabilities of military satellite programs and future military space plane designs. Another chief concern is that this disclosure is indicative of the possibility of broader security breeches. This type of information would also likely be of interest to so-called "peer competitors" in the commercial or military space market, such as Russia or Japan.

To learn more about the national security and political implications of this breech, please view Verton's article at To speak to speak with Verton directly, please contact Iain Pollock, Marenghi Public Relations, at (781) 915-5015 or