Boeing Minimizes Damage From Cyber Attack

Mar 29, 2018

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Boeing said on Wednesday that it was hit by a cyberattack — reportedly the WannaCry virus — potentially causing some of its manufacturing equipment that produces its newest 777X to be affected. However, after just a few hours, Boeing said the attack had been settled and damage was kept to a minimum.

The Seattle Times broke the news, reporting that the aircraft manufacturer was hit by the WannaCry computer virus, which triggered alarm within the company and even some of its customers. Upon first learning of the breach, Mike VanderWel, chief engineer at Boeing Commercial Airplane production engineering, alerted employees in an anything-but-calm manner, calling for “All hands on deck.”

“It is metastasizing rapidly out of North Charleston, and I just heard 777 (automated spar assembly tools) may have gone down,” VanderWel wrote. “We are on a call with just about every VP in Boeing.”

Since the news broke on Wednesday afternoon local time, Boeing reversed course, stating that the “limited intrusion of malware” that affected “a small number of systems” wasn’t as significant as originally reported. The company issued a statement on its Twitter account.

By evening local time, the incident had been solved, and executives called for calm within the company.

“We’ve done a final assessment,” said Linda Mills, head of communication for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “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.”

Specifically, the attack was limited to computers in the company’s Commercial Airplanes division. Military and services united were not affected by the attack. Production and deliveries will not be affected as a result of the attack.

Featured image by Scott Olson / Getty Images.

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