Asco Sees Progress In Restoring Production after Cyber Attack

 - June 28, 2019, 12:01 PM

Asco Industries said it continues making progress to restore its production after a June 7 large-scale ransomware attack led to the complete shutdown of its facilities in Belgium, Germany, the U.S., and Canada. However, the Belgium-headquartered manufacturer cautioned Friday it can’t yet provide a forecast of the complete recovery of its activities as key systems remain only partially operational.   

The company, which Spirit AeroSystems agreed to buy last year, designs and manufactures high-lift structures, complex mechanical assemblies, and major functional components on commercial and large business aircraft from Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, and Gulfstream. Asco also designs and manufactures flap support systems, landing gear, and major aircraft structural bulkheads on military aircraft such as the Airbus A400M and Lockheed Martin’s F-35.

Airbus told AIN that Asco Industries’ production issues so far resulted in “no immediate impact on deliveries to our customers.” Asco directly supplies to Airbus slat tracks on the airframer’s A320 family, A330s, A350, and A380, as well as detailed parts on the A350 (metallic frames), A380 (carriages, brackets), and A400 flap ribs and flap support. It also supplies detailed parts to some of Airbus’s other suppliers such as PAG, Stelia, Saab, and Sonaca. Asco has informed all those suppliers and put in place a mitigation plan, Airbus noted. The airframer added that it is working closely with the Belgian firm on backup solutions to prevent production effects. 

Asco last week started putting in place “workarounds” at the different sites to enable a gradual ramp-up and ensure minimal disruption to production and shipment. The company initiated recruitment of more than 100 additional temporary personnel to support activities in the main site of Zaventem, near Brussels Airport.  

The forensic investigation led by the Belgian federal police’s Computer Crime Unit regarding the cause of the attack continues, Asco said. It emphasized that since the cyber attack was its first, IT experts have taken control over the incident “and, to date, no evidence of any exfiltration of information nor non-recoverable loss of data has been identified.”