Hackers target the girl based on her color in NASA competition

NASA with its different programs keeps on encouraging children in different parts of the world for their involvement in space science and technology. They run a large number of programs and scholarships in different fields for the students. These programs are not only on the college level but at the school level as well.

Recently news came into existence where hackers tried to alter the votes of the girl based on her color and race. As per the school’s administration- hackers attempted to sway a NASA challenge to attack grade school students based on their race.

This challenge was from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where the students who are interested in the space science and technology were encouraged to find ‘spinoff’ technology in their everyday life. The program involves public voting through different social media sites for the support of their favorite contestant and the work they have accomplished. The person who gets maximum votes is selected as the winner of the contest. The hackers tried to alter the votes online to support their contestant and to outcast the girl who has done good but belongs to a black race.

NASA, however, told that after knowing the glitch and learning the act of hackers hampering the voting process, it has shut down the option to votes.

NASA in a statement said- "It was brought to NASA’s attention ... that some members of the public used social media, not to encourage students and support STEM, but to attack a particular student team based on their race and encouraged others to disrupt the contest and manipulate the vote, and the attempt to manipulate the vote occurred shortly after those posts.”

As per ‘The Washington Post’ reports, the focused team by the hackers belonged to Washington, D.C.'s Banneker High School. The two girls who were targeted are Mikayla Sharrieff belonging to Indian race and Bria Snell. Both these talented girls created a product that could purify school systems' water by checking for chemicals such as chlorine.

According to a report from the National Science Foundation, nearly half of scientists and engineers are white men. Meanwhile, black men and women make up a combined 5%, while Hispanic men and women comprise a combined 6%.

This team with two girls is the Banneker’s team which is one among the eight finalists of the NASA’s challenge. NASA told that the winners would be announced shortly and most probably by the end of this month.