Boeing said to be hit by computer virus ransomware attack

A Boeing employee works on a 787 Dreamliner at the company's factory in South Carolina.
A Boeing employee works on a 787 Dreamliner at the company’s factory in South Carolina.
(Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images)

Boeing Co. has been hit by a computer virus, raising fears that some manufacturing equipment used to build its 787 Dreamliner and 777 wide-body jets could be crippled, the Seattle Times reported.

The planemaker acknowledged a cyberattack while saying “a number of reported statements on this are overstated and inaccurate.” Aircraft production and deliveries aren’t affected, the company said in an emailed statement.

“Our cybersecurity operations center detected a limited intrusion of malware that affected a small number of systems,” Linda Mills, a spokeswoman for the company, said in the statement. “Remediations were applied and this is not a production and delivery issue.”

The assembly lines potentially affected by the ransomware attack include those of Boeing’s 787 facility in North Charleston, S.C., and the 777, the Seattle Times said. The 777 is made in Everett, Wash.


“It is metastasizing rapidly out of North Charleston and I just heard 777 [automated spar assembly tools] may have gone down,” Boeing engineer Mike VanderWel wrote in a memo cited by the newspaper. VanderWel said he was concerned that the virus would hit equipment used to test jetliners before they roll out of the factory for flight testing and could potentially “spread to airplane software.”

A similar cyberattack compromised companies such as FedEx Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. last year and crippled parts of Britain’s state-run National Health Service.