In a significant cybersecurity breach, internal data from Boeing, a global leader in defense and space contracting, was exposed online on Friday by the Lockbit hacker group.
The group, known for extorting victims by stealing and releasing sensitive data unless a ransom is paid, had previously threatened Boeing with the release of a substantial amount of data if a ransom wasn’t paid by November 2.
According to a post on Lockbit’s website, the published data from Boeing surfaced in the early hours of Friday morning. While the files’ authenticity has not been independently verified by Reuters, they purportedly mainly date back to late October.
Boeing, yet to respond to media inquiries, had earlier confirmed the cyber incident and assured that it did not compromise flight safety. The aerospace giant is actively investigating the breach.
Lockbit ransomware, first identified on Russian-language cybercrime forums in January 2020, has been a global menace, targeting organizations in various countries, including the United States, India, and Brazil. Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro described Lockbit as “one of the most professional organized criminal gangs in the criminal underground.”
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reported that Lockbit has impacted 1,700 U.S. organizations, highlighting the extent of the group’s reach.
This incident follows a recent ransomware attack on the U.S. arm of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), disrupting trades in the U.S. Treasury market. While several experts and analysts attribute the attack to Lockbit, the gang’s dark web page, where it typically lists its victims, did not mention ICBC.
The Boeing breach underscores the escalating threat cybercriminals pose to critical industries and raises concerns about the potential misuse of sensitive information. As companies grapple with the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, the incident emphasizes the need for robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard critical infrastructure and intellectual property.