Cyberattack Hits Aircraft Parts ManufacturerJune 14 2019
A cyberattack has shut down international production at Asco, a company in Zaventem, Belgium, that is a significant supplier of parts to airline manufacturers around the world. According to the company, it has shut down all manufacturing operations in Belgium, Germany, Canada, and the US, sending more than 1,000 of their 1,400 global workers home.
While many reports are calling the attack ransomware, Asco has not released information about the incident other than to confirm the effects and report that law enforcement has been notified.
Larry Trowell, principal security consultant at Synopsys, counsels patience before leaping to conclusions about the attack. “The short and sweet of it is that we don’t yet know what has happened,” he says. “Looking at the most recent articles, there’s no proof that it was in fact a ransomware attack. Since the police and local officials were called, it may be malware or even a direct attack.”
What is known is that an event large enough to require full shutdown of all manufacturing capabilities is taking place. Elisa Costante, senior director of industrial and operational technology (OT) research for Forescout, explains, “OT devices ranging from PLCs to sensors that were previously air-gapped are becoming connected to networks by the minute. This convergence of IT with OT networks offers substantial benefits but is also providing cyberattackers a greater opportunity to affect the physical world and impact the bottom line of the business and safety of operations and employees.”
Trowell agrees, saying, “Factories may be slow to isolate and protect against this sort of distributed attack.”
This is a developing story, and Dark Reading will continue to cover it.
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