Ransomware virus hits Boeing, affecting "small number of systems"

American plane manufacturer Boeing announced that it "detected a limited intrusion of malware" that infiltrated "a small number of systems," according to a statement released by a company official. The Seattle Times reports that Boeing fell victim to the WannaCry virus, which held computers hostage earlier this year in the largest cyberextortion scheme ever, CNET reports.

Despite an initial report by chief engineer Mike VanderWel at Boeing Commercial Airplane production engineering that "the virus would affect equipment used in functionality tests of airplanes and potentially 'spread to airplane software'" and that it was "metastasizing rapidly," Boeing said that wasn't the case and disputes that the virus originated from its South Carolina plant.

"A number of reported articles on a malware disruption are overstated and inaccurate," VP of Boeing commercial airplanes Linda Mills said, adding "remediations were applied" and the intrusion would not impact production or deliveries.

A Boeing official told CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave that a "patch" was applied to fix the company's computer system and that the virus impacted a limited number of older systems.

VanderWel reportedly sent out an alarming memo earlier in which he called for "All hands on deck."

CNET explains that ransomware is malicious software that can lock up your files until you send hackers a ransom payment and that it primarily targets Windows computers. In summer 2017, WannaCry swept affected hospitals, banks and governments in several countries. CNET reports that after July, the amount of ransomware infections dropped sharply.

Hacker who stopped WannaCry cyberattack arrested in Las Vegas

In another recent case of a ransomware attack, officials in Atlanta were still trying to recover this week days after the city's computer network was crippled and access to electronic records was blocked. Investigators including the Federal Bureau of Investigation are working to figure out the identity of the culprits, who demanded the equivalent of about $51,000 in bitcoin to unlock the shuttered systems.

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