Computer Misuse by the Sigma Corporation, a NASA Contractor

Gao ID: PSAD-78-148 September 27, 1978

It was alleged that personnel from the Sigma Corporation, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contractor, have used the NASA main computer at Johnson Space Center to develop large-scale accounting systems and then used the systems to keep books for Sigma Corporation customers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation substantiated this allegation but declined to prosecute because the contract was completed on December 31, 1977, and NASA withheld fees due the corporation sufficient to cover the value of the unauthorized use of the computer. Most of the computer misuse occurred on other than the prime daytime shift when there was no government surveillance. NASA decided against suspension or debarment of the corporation. Action that should be taken to prevent a recurrence of such computer misuse includes implementation of Transmittal No. 1 of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-71 which reflects policy guidance on computer security and determining the sensitivity of information and the extent to which agency resources should be invested in security and risk analysis.

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