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Anonymous threat to Mars rover 'Curiosity'

Last updated on: August 16, 2012 18:40 IST

Anonymous threat to Mars rover 'Curiosity'

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

The group, 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.

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Image: This full-resolution image shows part of the deck of NASA's Curiosity rover taken from one of the rover's Navigation cameras looking toward the back left of the rover


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Anonymous threat to Mars rover 'Curiosity'

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"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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Image: This image shows Curiosity's Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) "war room" and its staff.

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