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NASA Denies Claim Hackers Took Control of a Drone Midflight

by Devin Coldewey /
NASA logo at the Kennedy Space Center in the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on Jan. 21, 2015.Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

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NASA has denied hackers' claims that they infiltrated the agency's systems and took control of a drone mid-flight.

A hacker group calling itself AnonSec on Sunday posted a document to Pastebin, a website for storing and sharing text. The document was said to contain, among other things, NASA program descriptions, thousands of employee contacts, and logs of flights made by unmanned vehicles.

Related: Hack to the Future: Experts Make 2016 Cybersecurity Predictions

The group also claimed to have once briefly taken "semi-partial control" of a GlobalHawk UAV by substituting its own digital flight plan for the official one.

NASA on Tuesday denied that it had lost of control of the drone in any way.

"Definitively, our GlobalHawk team told me, the craft was not compromised," a NASA representative told NBC News in a phone call.

In a separate statement, the agency also said that there is "no evidence to indicate the alleged hacked data are anything other than already publicly available data."

Related: VTech Hack Exposes 6.4 Million Children's Profiles

The hackers' document not only described the alleged breach, but accused NASA of being complicit in several wide-ranging conspiracies, including "chemtrails," a supposed program in which the government aerially spreads toxic chemicals.

NASA did not comment on this or several other accusations leveled in the document. It did say in its statement, however, that "NASA takes cybersecurity very seriously and will continue to fully investigate all of these allegations."

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