Aerospace Supply Chain Targeted by New Cyber Attack

SmartCert Offers Secure Document Exchange

By Paul Decker
June 12th, 2023

On June 6th, Washington DC based cyber security firm, Adlumin, reported that a new malicious script called PowerDrop is targeting the U.S. aerospace industry. The nature of the exploit suggests the perpetrator is an aggressor nation attempting to steal weapons technology. Researchers believe it is likely injected using phishing techniques. Although fastener companies rarely have highly classified information, they can be an effective transmission route into the large defense contractor, a so called “Supply Chain Attack.

The Adlumin discovery highlights the increasing risk associated with transferring important documents by email. Cybercriminals and enemy nations are utilizing increasingly clever phishing techniques to exploit vulnerabilities in email communications. As we have all seen in our own email, these attacks often involve impersonating legitimate senders and tricking recipients into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected attachments.

According to recent statistics and reports, the frequency and sophistication of phishing attacks has been on the rise. In 2022 alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received over 300,000 complaints related to phishing scams.

Although the purpose of PowerDrop is to steal information, ransomware is spread in the same way. Ransomware attacks can have severe consequences for organizations, including financial losses, operational disruptions, and reputational damage.

The most effective way to reduce risks is to stop using email to exchange important documents and only download files from known senders. That is easier said than done because it is nearly impossible to keep track of all the authorized employees of your suppliers and customers, particularly as employees change.

Companies on SmartCert avoid this problem entirely because certs and other important documents can only be exchanged between verified company accounts and their authorized users.

SmartCert gained a customer in 2021 after it lost all its data in a ransomware attack. More recently, an executive at a $1B+ global manufacturer recently indicated that cyber security is one of his top concerns, particularly as it relates to documentation from its supply chain.

In addition to security concerns, email is simply becoming less and less effective. Users increasingly complain about being overwhelmed by email, file size restrictions, lost emails in stuffed or spam sensitive inboxes, and information not getting to the required people in the receiving organization.

SmartCert solves all these problems.

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