Airbus has seen a series of interesting cyber attacks this year. All were carried out through the infrastructure of subcontractors and parts suppliers from China. There are many indications that under the cover of cooperation, the Middle Kingdom engages in industrial espionage.
Over the past year, Airbus has seen four such attacks. An Airbus spokesman told the French media that the company is aware of the development of cyber threats, is constantly monitoring them through detection systems and responds immediately.
Airbus is defending itself. It is not known if the thieves succeeded
Despite all efforts, there was a burglary in January. The details are unknown, but the US government has accused China of hacking into another supplier of Airbus and Boeing engines – CFM. We know from other sources that the attackers used, among others, the infrastructure of Rolls-Royce, another supplier of engines for jet aircraft. In addition, three other companies were listed.
Like any other high-tech company, Airbus stores information of great value. If they fell into the wrong hands, it could lead to a coup on the market for passenger aircraft, combat aircraft and helicopters, satellites or space shuttles, but this is only the beginning of problems. Data theft would endanger the safety of passengers, pilots, satellite system users and many other people, probably also the safety of entire countries. The purpose of the cyber attacks was to plan the engine of the Airbus A350 and A400M aircraft – a versatile transport aircraft for the army with unparalleled tactical capabilities.
One more important piece of this puzzle is missing. We have no information about whether this attack was effective. Hacking does not yet mean that cyber crooks have obtained the files you specified.
Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Chinese spies
The French Government has serious reasons for concern. Airbus has been included on the list of about 200 strategically most important companies in France, prepared by national security agencies. Now the aircraft manufacturer has attracted the attention of the authorities. He did not take care of security when choosing trusted suppliers, and cyber security attacks enabled subcontractors.
There are clear indications that Chinese intelligence is behind the attacks. Chinese authorities report that they have nothing to do with attacks. The cybersecurity regulators there and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not publish any comment.
A spokesperson for Rolls-Royce did not comment. Company policy does not allow commenting on individual incidents. In the winter, the CFM also did not comment on reports of burglary accused of China.