Industry News

Aircraft Component Maker ASCO Hit by Ransomware, Shuts Down Global Production

Belgian company ASCO Industries, a key leader in manufacturing components for both civilian and military planes, fell victim to a ransomware attack on June 7 that shut down production around the world, writes ZDNet. With all IT systems incapacitated, some 1,000 of 1,400 employees were sent home.

“Employees of the Asco company in Zaventem are technically unemployed for a few days because the company’s servers have been hacked. The company confirms that it has been hit by a cyberattack since Friday. A complaint has been submitted to the police,” writes VRT (Flemish Radio and Television Broadcasting Organization) [as per Google Translate]. “The public prosecutor says there are traces of ‘ransomware’ found on the computers, with hackers asking ransom to re-release the blocked computers.”

The company has plants in Belgium, Germany, Canada and the US, as well as office representation in Brazil and France. A week later, the plants are still closed and an investigation by external experts seeks to determine the actual damage caused. The infection occurred at the production plant in Belgium, but the plants in the rest of the locations were shut down as a precaution to prevent the ransomware from spreading across the entire network.

ASCO Industries manufactures airplane parts for Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier Aerospace, Lockheed Martin and the new F-35 fighter plane.

The company declined to comment on the status of the malware infection, whether ransom will be paid to restore the systems or when activity will be resumed.

“We have informed all competent authorities in this area of ​​this cyberattack and have brought in external experts to solve the problem,” HR director Vicky Welvaert said for VRT [as per Google Translate]. “We are currently working on it with all our might.” 

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.

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    • Even if you have anti-ransomware on your computer it won't do an ounce of good. Hackers know the timing of back doors too well. You can have anti-ransomware and STILL get infected. Today all it takes is one click of the mouse. You can have McAfee, AVG, Norton, Kaspersky, ESET and all the others installed on your computer- won't do you an ounce of good. Reason the big-box stores sell you it is they get the commission. But it won't protect you from malware or ransomware.

      • Maybe if you provide some more technological insights about what you say… I am talking from the perspective of how these solutions work, having tested their abitlities in custom labs, and also because I know what will happen if thehy do not use them at all. THERE IS a difference.