Ransomware Attack Forces Aerospace Company to Shutdown Manufacturing

Belgian-based aerospace manufacturer ASCO Industries shut down some of its units because of a ransomware attack on June 7, requiring the company to send home most of its staff. The attack put over 1,000 of its 1,400 global workers out of action and shut down manufacturing units in Germany, Belgium, Canada and the United States.

A Ransomware attack is a cyber attack in which hackers infect a computer system with a malicious code that shuts it down or renders it inoperable.  The attackers then make demands—such as payment, often in cryptocurrency—in exchange for a key that will enable the victim to restore its systems.

ASCO to be acquired by Spirit AeroSystems soon

Asco confirmed the malicious intrusion to the Belgian news publisher Data News but refused to provide any additional information on the matter. According to reports, the company took outside help to help solve the issue.

ASCO is currently in the process of being bought by Spirit AeroSystems – a Wichita, Kansas-based first-tier aerostructures manufacturer.  There has been no indication by either of the two companies that this cyber-attack would pose a problem in the acquisition of Asco.

Was it a ransomware attack or just a malware?

As the company has not released an official statement on the incident, some experts are even questioning whether it was a ransomware attack. Larry Trowell, principal security consultant at Synopsys, said his company does not know what has happened yet, and since it has not seen evidence that it was a ransomware attack, thinks it may be a direct attack or simply malware.



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