WannaCry Hits Boeing with ‘Limited Intrusion’

Friday, March 30, 2018 @ 03:03 PM gHale

Boeing looks like it may be the latest victim of the WannaCry ransomware.

The company, however, said it detected only what it calls “limited malware intrusion” impacting a “small number of systems.”

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The ransomware first hit Boeing Wednesday and Mike VanderWel, chief engineer at Boeing Commercial Airplane production engineering, sent out a memo to warn the infection could even affect airplane software.

“It is metastasizing rapidly out of North Charleston and I just heard 777 (automated spar assembly tools) may have gone down,” VanderWel was quoted as saying in The Seattle Times.

WannaCry was first detected last year and the ransomware triggered a prompt response from Microsoft, who issued emergency security patches even for the unsupported Windows XP. While Windows 10 was protected against WannaCry, statistics showed Windows 7 was the most affected by the outbreak, despite the patches.

WannaCry encrypted the data on affected systems and asked for a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. If Boeing was hit by WannaCry, the company was most likely operating older versions of Windows without the 2017 patches installed.

Linda Mills, the head of communications for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, played down the attack and suggested planes are secure.

“We’ve done a final assessment. The vulnerability was limited to a few machines. We deployed software patches. There was no interruption to the 777 jet program or any of our programs,” she said.

Nothing has been said about the malware involved in the attack, so it’s yet to be confirmed if WannaCry has indeed been used to encrypt the systems.

“A number of articles on a malware disruption are overstated and inaccurate. Our cybersecurity operations center 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 said.

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