Boeing said there had been a malware intrusion that affected a small number of systems ©PA Images
Boeing said there had been a malware intrusion that affected a small number of systems ©PA Images

Boeing hit by WannaCry cyber attack

29 March 2018

Boeing was hit by a cyber attack on Wednesday that caused concerns around production of one of its aeroplanes.

The attack was reported to have been the WannaCry virus, the ransomware attack that affected dozens of organisations last year, including a number of NHS trusts.

Boeing has said the attack has been contained and production was not affected.

The virus was spotted on Wednesday, originating in North Charleston, causing panic as concerns were raised that it would spread to automated assembly tools on the 777 production line, the Seattle Times reported.

Concerns were also raised the virus could affect equipment used to test aeroplanes ready to roll off the production line, and could potentially spread to aeroplane software.

However, later in the day Boeing put out a statement saying media reports about disruptions were “overstated and inaccurate”.

In a Twitter post, the firm said: “Our cybersecurity operations centre detected a limited intrusion of malware that affected a small number of systems. Remediations were applied and this is not a production or delivery issue.”

Boeing has not yet responded to a request from SM for comment.

The WannaCry virus outbreak last year affected more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries before a security researcher managed to trigger a kill switch that stopped the virus spreading. The virus is what’s known as ransomeware and encrypts the victim’s computer, making the files on it inaccessible, before demanding a ransom payment for the release key.

The virus exploited a flaw in older versions of Windows, which made companies using legacy operating systems or systems not kept up to date particularly vulnerable. A patch was released by Microsoft soon after the attack.

Among the victims of last year’s attack were FedEx, Deutsche Post, Nissan and the NHS. The attack disrupted more than a third of NHS trusts in England, as well as hundreds of GP surgeries.

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