Montreal-based UN aviation agency tried to cover up 2016 cyberattack, documents show
In November 2016, the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was hit by the most serious cyberattack in its history, and internal documents obtained by CBC suggest key members of the team that should have prevented the attack tried to cover up how badly it was mishandled.
As the United Nations body that sets standards for civil aviation around the world, ICAO is the gateway to everyone in the aviation industry, so an uncontained cyberattack left not just ICAO vulnerable, but made sitting ducks of its partners worldwide.
The documents obtained by CBC suggest the hacker was most likely a member of Emissary Panda, a sophisticated and stealthy espionage group with ties to the Chinese government.
At ICAO, investigators found a network full of holes, with security vulnerabilities that should have been flagged years earlier.
No worries. Mr Wan the ICAO security guy said it was a minor event and that’s probably why he wasn’t in a hurry to plug the holes.