NASA has confirmed that hackers tried to sway results of difficult for teenagers that involved public voting via social networking by targeting some participants on the basis of the race.
The challenge from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center encourages students to get “spinoff” technology in their everyday world, the USA Today reported on Thursday.
However, after learning hackers attempted to alter the final vote totals, NASA said on April 29 it’d to shut down the voting percentage of the “OPSPARC Challenge”, which hopes to ignite creative thinking in children.
“Unfortunately, it absolutely was taken to NASA’s attention … that some members of the public used social networking, never to encourage students and support STEM, but to attack a certain student team based on their race and encouraged others to disrupt the contest and manipulate the vote, and the attempt to control the vote occurred shortly after those posts,” NASA said in a statement.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the hackers targeted a team of students from Washington, DC’s Banneker High School who created an item that might purify school systems’water by checking for chemicals such as for example chlorine.
The Banneker team was among eight finalists to win the challenge.
Prior to the voting ended, members of the public were using social networking to generate support for particular teams in the public voting.
NASA supports this sort of community-based effort to encourage students to activate with science, technology, engineering and math and recognises social networking being an important tool for that support.
The challenge team has an accurate record of the voting results before the attempted disruption, NASA said.
“Relating with the judging criteria and voting procedures stated on the OPSPARC website, a panel of NASA Goddard judges will make your final determination of the winners using the published rubrics,” it added.
The answers are slated to be announced this month.