According to newspaper The Seattle Times, the aircraft manufacturer Boeing facilities were hit by the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm on Wednesday (28 March 2018). Mike VanderWel, chief engineer at Boeing Commercial Airplane production engineering wrote in an internal memo that: “It is metastasizing rapidly out of North Charleston and I just heard 777 (automated spar assembly tools) may have gone down,” adding that he’s concerned the virus will hit equipment used in functional tests of airplanes ready to roll out and potentially “spread to airplane software.” (The Seattle Times: Boeing has been hit by the WannaCry computer virus. Some airplane production may be affected)
Boeing immediately responded to the news and stated: “A number of articles on a malware disruption are overstated and inaccurate. Our cyber security 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.”
The WannaCry ransomware attack was a May 2017 worldwide cyberattack by the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm, which targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
The attack was stopped within a few days of its discovery due to emergency patches released by Microsoft, and the discovery of a kill switch that prevented infected computers from spreading WannaCry further. The attack was estimated to have affected more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries, with total damages ranging from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. Security experts believed from preliminary evaluation of the worm that the attack originated from North Korea or agencies working for the country.