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Austrian engineering firm lost $54 million in cyber fraud

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January 25, 2016

An engineering firm in Austria is realizing the real cost of poor IT security after admitting that $54 million has gone missing from its accounts following a cyber fraud attack on its systems.

FACC Operations makes airplane parts for large manufacturers like Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier, and is majority owned by a Chinese holding company.

It underscores that its intellectual property, engineering and various operations servers weren't compromised in the attack and that it is still financially solvent.

"The financial accounting department of FACC Operations GmbH was the target of cyber fraud. FACC's IT infrastructure, data security, IP rights as well as the operational business of the group are not affected by the criminal activities," the company said in a statement.

"The management board has taken immediate structural measures and is evaluating damages and insurance claims," the company added.

The firm initially reported that it had been a victim of outside hackers, but investigations have shown that to be false.

Instead, the evidence points to an inside job, with unknown persons managing to get around the electronic payment systems protection systems and siphoning off a huge amount of funds.

Austrian police are currently investigating, and the firm's financial servers are being closely pored over to find the culprits. The probe may take months, a spokesman said.

FACC's stock price fell by nearly 20 percent on the news, although it has since recovered slightly. We'll keep you posted on these and other security news.

Source: FACC Operations gmbh.

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