Even the world’s biggest companies are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Boeing, which designs, manufactures and sells airplanes, rockets, and satellites, was recently hit with a WannaCry virus.
This exploits a flaw in Windows software, gains access to a network and attacks computers using “ransomware." The name “ransomware” is given to the virus because it actually requires payment to defeat. It locks users out of their data by encrypting files that can only be undone by paying a fee. The fee is sometimes requested in the form of cryptocurrency. Below is a screenshot of an image that can be seen as a result of the attack.
But Boeing insists the problem wasn’t as bad as initial reports suggested. A spokeswoman for the company said, “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 and delivery issue.” This statement argues against alarm caused by internal panic that happened immediately after the attack was detected. This led to the assumption that vital airplane-production equipment used to build some of the company’s wide-body jets could be crippled, seeing as this type of attack can completely shut down a manufacturing plant.
Some even feared that the virus could create a malfunction on one of the planes in mid-air. Experts say this type of side effect is highly unlikely. The dangerous ransomware has become more popular in recent years, and is theorized to have links to North Korea. In May of 2017 the WannaCry virus targeted computers all over the world. Other versions like CryptoLocker, TeslaCrypt, SimpleLocker and NotPetya have affected millions of systems since as early as 2013.