NASA is reportedly investigating claims that one of its astronauts has become the first person to commit a crime while in space.
U.S. Army Astronaut Lt. Col. Anne McClain allegedly accessed a bank account belonging to her estranged wife, Summer Worden, while on active duty at the International Space Station.
A complaint was filed by Worden with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in relation to the alleged case of identity theft. A second complaint was then filed by Worden's parents with NASA's Office of Inspector General.
No allegations have been made against McClain regarding the movement or removal of any funds from Worden's account.
McClain and Worden, who filed for divorce in 2018 after four years of marriage, are currently in dispute over the custody of their 6-year-old son. It is alleged that McClain told NASA investigators that she logged into her estranged wife's bank account to check that it contained enough money to ensure the former couple's son was being adequately provided for.
NASA has yet to respond to the allegations against McClain, stating only that "NASA does not comment on personal or personnel matters."
In a statement, NASA described McClain as "one of NASA's top astronauts," who "did a great job on her most recent NASA mission aboard the International Space Station."
Rusty Hardin, McClain's lawyer, told The New York Times that McClain is coopering fully with the investigation and “strenuously denies that she did anything improper."
Addressing the allegations on Twitter, McClain posted the following message: "There’s unequivocally no truth to these claims. We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media. I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation. I have total confidence in the IG process."
McClain boarded the International Space Station in December 2018 and spent six months there in preparation for NASA's first women-only spacewalk. The spacewalk, which McClain was due to perform with fellow astronaut Christina H. Koch, was cancelled in March 2019 after NASA couldn’t provide both women with spacesuits that fit.
Before joining NASA's astronaut corps in 2013, McClain was a helicopter pilot in the army and flew 216 combat missions in Iraq. McClain later served as battalion operations manager and Kiowa helicopter instructor pilot at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
A report released today by fraud remediators Arkose Labs revealed that it isn't just the content on social media that's giving off the foul reek of fakery. The Fraud & Abuse Report found that 53% of all logins on social media sites are fraudulent.
The report, which analyzed more than 1.2 billion transactions made between April 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019, found that 11% of all online transactions, including account registrations, logins and payments, were actually cyber-attacks.
Attacks were found to originate globally, in both wealthy countries and developing economies. The majority of fraud attacks came from the US, Russia, the Philippines, the UK and Indonesia.
Interestingly, the attack mix varied across industries, with some spheres more likely to suffer human-driven cyber-attacks, while others were chiefly targeted by bots.
The technology industry stood out as heavily targeted by human click-farms and sweatshops, with almost 43% of attacks driven by humans. However, it was the retail industry that saw the highest proportion of human culprits, with a 50/50 split between attacks driven by humans and bot-led assaults.
Cyber-criminals were found to use a two-pronged approach, sending humans to work on a target after large-scale automated attacks by bots proved unsuccessful.
Commenting on the report's findings, the VP of strategy at Arkose Labs, Vanita Pandey, said: "The sophistication of the bot attacks is increasing, and the merchant is getting bombarded with attacks from bots and humans at the same time.
"These criminals have unlimited technology and identities are widely available; the only limited resource is humans to hire to do the attacks."
Shockingly, 46% of all payment transactions for travel were found to be fraudulent, as were almost 10% of all login attempts on travel sites.
Seasonality played a role in the results for the financial services industry, with a peak in the volume of attacks observed during high-traffic periods, like the US tax season.
Indicating that peaks in the volume of attacks may be useful in helping to identify future breaches, Pandey stated: "We saw an increase in the number of attacks in what we later realized was the lead up to a big breach announcement."