Boeing probes cyber attack

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

One of the biggest defence and space contractors in the world, Boeing, announced on Wednesday that it was looking into a cyber incident that affected some of its components and distribution business and that it was assisting with a law enforcement investigation into it.

Days after the Lockbit cybercrime group announced on Friday that it had taken “a tremendous amount” of confidential information from the American aircraft manufacturer and threatened to post it online if Boeing failed to pay a ransom by November 2, Boeing confirmed the issue.

“This issue does not affect flight safety,” a Boeing spokesperson said.

“We are actively investigating the incident and coordinating with law enforcement and regulatory authorities. We are notifying our customers and suppliers.”

According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Lockbit has affected 1,700 U.S. organisations since 2020, making it the most active worldwide ransomware gang in terms of victims last year.

The hacking group usually locks down a victim organization’s system with ransomware and steals confidential information for extortion.

What information Lockbit may have taken from the business is unknown. While businesses may pay cybercriminal gangs when they demand ransom, Brett Callow, a ransomware expert and threat analyst at the cybersecurity company Emsisoft, noted that this does not ensure that data would not be leaked.

He went on to say that it would be “extremely problematic” to lose information on the military. Boeing declined to answer when asked if any data pertaining to defence had been affected in the cyber attack.

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