A Sabena Engineering spokesman declined to comment on the gang’s claims. The company has listed the aerospace company on its darknet forum, where it threatens to leak sensitive data unless victims pay a ransom in cryptocurrency. It has threatened to publish the data on November 26, unless it is paid.
Sabena Engineering has been involved in plans to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as part of a deal involving Belgium, along with the Netherlands, Denmark and other NATO allies that will see pilots trained to fly the US-made aircraft. The Belgian company has been providing technical and engineering support.
The Netherlands and Denmark are planning to send a wave of fighter jets to Ukraine by 2024, while Belgium will add more of the air superiority fighters by 2025.
The Lockbit gang is believed to have close ties to Russia. Its members have previously boasted of being able to “operate freely” within the borders of “former Soviet countries”.
However, the gang also sells its hacking tools as a service to other criminal groups. “Oftentimes they don’t necessarily know ahead of time who their affiliates will attack,” said Rafe Pilling, a cyber security expert at the company Secureworks. “Afterwards, they will assist with ransom negotiations and leaking any stolen data.”
Earlier in November, Boeing confirmed a cyber attack in its parts and distribution business. Following the attack, Lockbit began leaking what it claimed were internal files stolen from the aerospace giant.
A Boeing spokesman said: “We are aware that, in connection with this incident, a criminal ransomware actor has released information it alleges to have taken from our systems.
“We continue to investigate the incident and will remain in contact with law enforcement, regulatory authorities, and potentially impacted parties, as appropriate. We remain confident this incident poses no threat to aircraft or flight safety.”