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NASA Briefly Pushes Porn After Spammer Takeover of Kepler's Twitter Account

Enable two-factor authentication, folks.

by Madison Margolin
Jul 6 2016, 3:30pm

The hacked account. Screencap: Motherboard

If you visited @NASAKepler this morning, the official Twitter account for NASA's planet-finding mission and K2 space telescope, you might have seen a pinned photo of a big butt wearing lacy red underwear.

NASA's name on Twitter was also different, having been changed to "r4die2oz," and its profile picture was different, too. Whether the blue-eyed blond gazing up at the camera in what appears to be a selfie is the perpetrator behind the hack has yet to be determined.

Around 10:00 AM on Wednesday, r4die2oz posted the butt photo with the caption "waiting for ya: <3," followed by a link to a porn site, localsex2.com. Given that the spam tweet even appeared on NASA Kepler's homepage, it didn't take long for the agency to figure it out and expunge any record of NASA Kepler's brief Twitter foray into porn. By 10:40 AM, all evidence of the hack had disappeared.

This isn't the first time NASA's been hacked on social media. In 2010, the agency's @NASA_Astronauts account, which aggregates tweets from astronauts, was hijacked by a spammer trying to sell TVs.

While this morning's hack was short lived, the Twittersphere still got a kick out of it. "When NASA fixes the account, they should tweet, 'These aren't the moons we are looking for,'" suggested one user.

"As you may have seen, we recovered the account and are back in business," NASA's social media manager John Yembrick said in an email to Motherboard. "We're investigating the cause of this incident with Twitter. We have hundreds of official NASA Twitter accounts, and this is a very rare occurrence. We work to safeguard our accounts as much as possible. Although we monitor all of our accounts closely, we want to thank our followers for flagging the incident for us."

The agency also issued a statement on Twitter.

Back to work, everyone.