Digital evidence is continuing to appear in a wide variety of cases, and may be the focus of an investigation into claims of identity theft originating from outer space. A Forbes article breaks down the news of how NASA is investigating claims of the first potential cybercrime committed off-planet.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain has been accused of accessing a bank account belonging to her estranged wife, Summer Worden. As a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, Worden had believed her bank account was being accessed from an unauthorized party. Worden requested account login history from her bank and received a history of past logins. Upon reviewing the login location history, it was determined a computer registered to NASA was used to access her account. At the time of the account access, McClain was aboard the International Space Station.
Since the alleged incident, McClain has returned to Earth after spending six months in space and has admitted to accessing the account while away, but insists she was checking to ensure the account was properly funded, since Worden was tasked with the responsibility to care for a child McClain and Worden had been raising together.
An investigation to determine case specifics is underway, and that has many questioning what the legal jurisdiction is with the alleged crime originating from space. BBC News has reported that, “a legal framework exists that dictates any crime committed in space would be under the jurisdiction of the country of origin of the astronaut concerned.”
We remind readers that it is not recommended to share or reuse passwords to any accounts. If shared passwords are used, it is recommended they be updated when personal situations change.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology