Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) said it was hit by a cyberattack on Wednesday, following a report by The Seattle Times saying that the attack may have caused damage to equipment used to build its 787 Dreamliner and 777 wide-body jets.
Boeing was hit by the WannaCry computer virus which started a scare, prompting Boeing’s Chief Engineer to issue a warning regarding the virus.
The WannaCry virus is an exploit in Windows software, which allows attackers to gain access to network attack using “ransomware.” This will lock users out of their network or data through encryptions and attackers will demand a fee or another type of ransom to unlock the network.
The same virus has also affected many major businesses such as FedEx Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. The virus has even affected international banks, government institutions and even hospitals.
“It is metastasizing rapidly out of North Charleston and I just heard 777 (automated spar assembly tools) may have gone down,” VanderWel wrote, also adding his concern that the virus could spread to equipment used in functional tests of airplanes and potentially spread to their software.
The automated spar assembly is Boeing’s new robotic machines tools that lay down carbon-fiber tape over the long spar that runs down the center of the wing of the 777Xs, which are set to deploy in 2020.
Afterwards, company executives assured investors saying that the attack did minimal damage.
“We’ve done a final assessment,” said Linda Mills, the head of communications for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The vulnerability was limited to a few machines. We deployed software patches. There was no interruption to the 777 jet program or any of our programs.”
“Remediations were applied and this is not a production and delivery issue.” added Mills.
Boeing shares were unphased by the attack, as shares traded 2.15 percent higher late Thursday morning.