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A group of ransomware hackers had previously cautioned Boeing, a major player in the aircraft industry, that they would disclose their data unless their demands were met. Indeed, on November 10, they implemented their threat and made nearly 45 gigabytes of the company’s data public.
Linked to Russia, the hacking group Lockbit took responsibility for the breach on October 27. “We have acquired sensitive data, which will be unveiled if Boeing fails to engage with us by the deadline,” the group declared on their data leak website. As reported by IT Brew, ransomware has been a significant challenge in 2023, with criminal groups now able to deploy malware at an unprecedented pace.
Boeing acknowledged the breach on the same day. In an email to Cybersecurity Dive on November 2, the company stated that they were “aware of a cyber incident impacting elements of our parts and distribution business.” They emphasized that “this issue does not affect flight safety.”
As the set deadline passed, Lockbit followed through on their threat and released a substantial amount of company information online. The exposed data encompassed files from cloud computing company Citrix, security controls, email backups, and more. According to cybersecurity analyst Dominic Alvieri, the leaked information also contained corporate emails.
“While I have not examined the entire data set, the Boeing emails and certain other documents can be leveraged by individuals with malicious intent,” Alvieri remarked.
The MalwareHunter Team conducted a review of the leak and indicated that it likely originated from Avial, the parts distributor acquired by Boeing in 2006. Given Aviol’s integration with Boeing systems over 17 years, the severity of the breach may be more extensive than previously understood.
“The key question is the extent of the network of merged companies over the past 17 years,” the team tweeted, “because if the network is not significantly broader and Lockbit has only encroached on Avial’s system, the issue may not be too severe, ‘just’ problematic for Boeing.”