Thursday 26 September 2019 4:15 pm

Hackers 'tried to steal Airbus secrets' in targeted cyber attacks

Airbus has fallen victim to a spate of cyber attacks over the past few months via the computer systems of its suppliers and contractors, according to AFP news agency.

The world’s second-largest aerospace group, which is also one of the world’s foremost weapons manufacturers, admitted it “is a target for malicious actors,” but would not confirm the reports.

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Security sources suspect a link to China, however the Asian superpower has repeatedly denied involvement in hacking.

Neither the China’s foreign ministry nor its official cyber regulator responded to requests for comment.

AFP reports the most recent attacks were mounted via French tech consultancy Expleo, FTSE 100 engine maker Rolls-Royce and two further French subcontractors who were not named.

City A.M. has approached Rolls-Royce for comment.

An Airbus spokesperson added: “Airbus continuously monitors activities on its systems, has detection mechanisms in place and takes immediate and appropriate actions when needed.”

Last January, Airbus said a cyber attack on its systems had resulted in a data breach. Before that, US prosecutors accused Chinese spies of stealing information about a jet engine being developed by firms who supply both Airbus and US rival Boeing.

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Over the past 12 months, Airbus has been targeted by four major cyber attacks, sources told the French news agency.

The hackers were said to have been looking for information about engines for the A400M military transport aircraft and A350 airliner.