NASA: The Kennedy Space Center administration building, in Florida, was emergency evacuated this Friday morning (10th) after a telephone threat. A hastily written email by NASA’s head of security asked all employees to seek safe haven.
All gates have been closed and people’s entry and exit has been blocked, reported The Verge reporter Joey Roulette via Twitter. After verifying that there was no real threat, the blockade was lifted around noon local time.
Later that day, another threat was registered at NASA headquarters in Washington. Employees were instructed to take shelter in a safe place, but soon the emergency situation was suspended after the security team verified it was a false alarm.
Although it happened on the same day, the space agency considers that there is no relationship between the threats registered at the Kennedy Space Center and at its administrative headquarters. The threats of attack come on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the destruction of the buildings of the World Trade Center, in New York, by planes controlled by terrorists.
In a statement, the space agency said it seriously considered all potential threats and is investigating both cases.
Physical threats are not very common at NASA. The space agency is more used to being attacked virtually. A recently released report points out that over the past four years, more than 6,000 cyberattack attempts have been made.
In 2021, NASA observed an increase in cyber threats. According to the report, phishing attempts doubled and malware attacks increased exponentially during the covid-19 pandemic, in particular due to the telecommuting of many of the space agency’s employees.