As a result of having IT systems crippled by the ransomware infection, the company has sent home approximately 1,000 of its 1,400 workers on paid leave.
ASCO, one of the world's largest suppliers of airplane parts, has ceased production in factories across four countries due to a ransomware infection reported at its plant in Zaventem, Belgium.
Per reports, the infection took root last Friday, June 7, and initially hit the company's Zaventem plant in Belgium, but ASCO also shut down factories in Germany, Canada, and the US. Non-production offices located in France and Brazil were unaffected.
It is unclear if the company shut down operations at other factories because the ransomware managed to spread, or just as a precaution. The former scenario might be the most plausible, as factories can be easily isolated from one another, without stopping production.
An ASCO spokesperson could not be reached via phone, and the company did not return an email requesting additional information and clarifications.
ASCO is one of the world's most important supplier of airplane parts and parts designs. Some of the company's clients include the biggest names in the airline transportation and military sectors, such as Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, and Lockheed Martin.
ASCO-made parts are used for the F-35 fighter jet, the Airbus A400M military aircraft, Airbus and Boeing commercial passenger jets, and Ariane space launch rockets, just to name a few.
The name of the ransomware strain that infected the company's Belgium plant was not made public. It is unclear if ASCO has already paid the ransom to recover access to its systems, is restoring from backups, or buying new systems and rebuilding its computer network from scratch. Story at ZDNet: