Boeing hit by WannaCry virus: report

Boeing hit by WannaCry virus: report
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Boeing was hit Wednesday by the WannaCry computer virus, The Seattle Times reported.

The company’s chief engineer, Mike VanderWel, sent a memo stating that the virus may have knocked out airplane production tools, according to the Times.

He reportedly expressed concern that the virus could spread to equipment used in functional tests of airplanes before they’re put in service, and eventually to airplane software. 

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“We are on a call with just about every VP in Boeing,” VanderWel wrote, according to the newspaper.

Following the report, Linda Mills, the vice president of Boeing's commercial airlines communications, released a statement clarifying what happened.

“A number of reported articles on a malware disruption are overstated and inaccurate," Mills 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 or delivery issue.”

Boeing would be the latest organization to be victimized by WannaCry, the malware that spread rapidly throughout hundreds of thousands of Windows devices in 150 countries during a single week in May.

The White House in December accused North Korean leader Kim Jong Un of releasing the malware in the May attack.

Last year's WannaCry attack was considered particularly malicious because it used exposed vulnerabilities in old and unpatched Windows systems.

WannaCry initially appeared to be ransomware, malware that encrypts files on a system and charges users a bounty to unlock them. But coding and strategic errors made it impossible for victims paying a ransom to retrieve the encrypted files. 

Updated: 7:40 p.m.