A series of cyberattacks on Airbus over the past few months were conducted via the computer systems of the aerospace group’s suppliers and contractors with security sources suspecting a link to China, AFP news agency reported.
Airbus, the world’s second-largest aerospace group, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company said in January a cyberattack on its systems resulted in a data breach. Last year US prosecutors said Chinese intelligence officers and hackers stole information about a jet engine being developed by firms who supply Airbus as well as its US rival Boeing.
According to AFP, which cited multiple unnamed security sources, cyberattacks on Airbus were mounted via French technology consultancy Expleo, engine maker Rolls Royce and two unidentified French Airbus subcontractors.
Over the past 12 months, Airbus has been targeted by four major cyberattacks, AFP cited one source as saying. Some attacks date back further, the report said.
The report cited sources as saying hackers were seeking information about engines for the A400M military transport aircraft and A350 airliner.
The AFP report did not make clear whether the cyberattacks it described led to data breaches or impacted Airbus operations.
It said the security sources have not definitively attributed responsibility for the cyberattacks, but they bore the hallmarks of groups linked to Chinese intelligence.