Cyber incident hit parts of Boeing business after ransom threat

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Cyber incident hit parts of Boeing business after ransom threat
Cyber incident hit parts of Boeing business after ransom threat

Boeing’s parts and distribution business, which falls under its Global Services division, provides material and logistics support to its customers.

Boeing, one of the world’s largest defense and space contractors, was investigating a cyber incident that impacted elements of its parts and distribution business and cooperating with a law enforcement probe into it, the company said on Wednesday.

The incident was acknowledged by Boeing days after the Lockbit cybercrime gang said on Friday it had stolen “a tremendous amount” of sensitive data from the U.S. plane maker that it would dump online if Boeing didn’t pay ransom by November 2.

As of Wednesday, the Lockbit threat was no longer on the gang’s website, and it didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A request for a comment on whether Lockbit was behind the cyber incident was declined by Boeing.

“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 company’s 2022 annual report, Boeing’s parts and distribution business, which falls under its Global Services division, provides material and logistics support to its customers. With a message that cited technical issues, some webpages on the company’s official website that had information on the Global Services division were down on Wednesday.

“We expect the site to be back up soon,” the pages said.

According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), based on the number of victims, Lockbit was the most active global ransomware group last year, and it has hit 1,700 U.S. organizations since 2020.

On a victim organization’s system, the hacking group typically deploys ransomware to lock it up, as well as stealing sensitive data for extortion.

What data Lockbit may have stolen from the company is still unclear. While organizations may pay cybercriminal gangs when demanded a ransom, that doesn’t guarantee that data won’t be leaked, said Brett Callow, a ransomware expert and threat analyst at the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft.

“Paying the ransom would simply elicit a pinky promise from LockBit that they would destroy whatever data they obtained,” Callow said. “There would, however, be no way of knowing for sure that they actually had.”

The loss of military-related information would be “extremely problematic”, he added. Boeing did not comment on whether any defense-related data had been impacted by the cyber incident.

On the Boeing statement, the CISA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also readIT cybersecurity aims to ensure that stakeholders can access and process data when necessary, says Srikanth Subbu CISO at Tata Electronics

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