The FBI has discovered the source code for OS/COMET on a computer that belongs to Freebox.com, based in Stockholm, Sweden. The United States uses the OS/COMET source code to guide satellites, space ships, and rockets. A Swedish attorney broke the news to the media last Friday.

The US Air Force (USAF) recently deployed OS/COMET on the NAVSTAR Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) Colorado Monitoring System (COSPM) as a command-and-control interface between master control stations and GPS satellites. When the USAF formally announced the OS/COMET deployment on December 20, 2000, COSPM was the first of six stations the USAF has upgraded to use the OS/COMET software. The USAF will upgrade the other five GPS stations this year.

The FBI discovered the code after tracing the theft back to an account on the Freebox.com network. According to a Reuters news report, an intruder stole the code on Christmas Eve last year; however, no one was able to detect the intrusion until December 27. The intruder established an account at Freebox.com and then proceeded to break into another Freebox.com user's account. The intruder then used the hijacked account to steal the OS/COMET source code.