back to article Personal data slurped in Airbus hack – but firm's industrial smarts could be what crooks are after

Airbus has admitted that a "cyber incident" resulted in unidentified people getting their hands on "professional contact and IT identification details" of some Europe-based employees. The company said in a brief statement published late last night that the breach is "being thoroughly investigated by Airbus' experts". The …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Funny to point to China, when Airbus first commercial competitor is Boeing.

    Another good point for RGPD, having to warn people their data may have been stolen forbids any move to hide the breach.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      did you mean GDPR?

      1. Hermann

        Yes, he is using the French acronym

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Oh ah, so he is:

          règlement général sur la protection des données

          Didn't know that, thanks.

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge

        My bad, it's GDPR for most of the World indeed.

        We use both acronyms here, I often confuse them... Old age is a shipwreck :doh:

    2. lglethal Silver badge

      Whats the Rio Grande Police Department got do with it?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Funny to point to China, or funny to IMMEDIATELY start making excuses for China?

      At any rate, OP has a good point. It's high time that Boeing is taken to task for its unbridled industrial espionage programs.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Is this speculation or is there proof? Citation(s)??

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Boieng is notoriously struggling (to use the weakest possible term) with its space program, suffers very serious reliability issues on some of its latest crafts (even resorting to "the pilot held it wrong", an excuse more often used by peddlers of less-critical pieces of tech) and recently bought Embraer to cover for their inability to develop reliable short-courriers of their own (OK, this last one might be a bit of an extrapolation).

          There are also allegations that data seized by three-letters US agencies under various "terrist" acts were at some point fed directly to various US stakeholder, including tipping local authorities on drug smugglers but also giving Boeing details on Airbus tech. That practice allegedely stopped, perhaps leeaving a gap in information-gathering by one or several parties.

          Meanwhile, China just successfuly sent a craft where No One had Ever Been Before (no, going to the hidden side of the Moon is no small feat).

          Pick the most probable culprit.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Probably about as much evidence as there is against China, in this case.

    4. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge


      > Funny to point to China, when Airbus first commercial competitor is Boeing.

      Errr... say WHAT now?

      Yes there've been a handful of dodgy/bullshit actions by the CIA over the last 30-40 years, but it's a handful and were exceeding their authority/remit and were called out when sprung.

      Whereas China has adopted industrial-strength --no, Sovereign-strength-- full-onslaught of corporate espionage of tech, funnelled into any corp with Party connections, for what, 50+ years now? Longer: I've read leaked Australian security documents from the early 70s highlighting China's eye-opening aggression even then.

      And --key point-- that's as a State Actor, not a subsidiary agency stepping outside its rules.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: China

        The CIA was *caught* a handful of times. Depending on how good they are at what they telling how many times they did interesting things and got away with it.

        There's a big disincentive to "catch" the TLA's. I seem to recall a couple people having to get sanctuary in odd places for doing so - even though the folks they "caught" don't deny what they did!

        The CIA isn't a state actor? Really? Are you trying to say that the Chinese civil government is the espionage agent here, and not their specialized talents?

        Some attempts to "control the narrative" are laughably obvious. And not relevant to who actually did the dirty - probably every actor involved; but instead obviously pushing a particular story line based on ??? not even the usual "unnamed sources". Come on, you can do better.

        1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

          Re: China

          "State Actor" is an internationally recognised term referring to a Nation State taking actions as a Nation State.

      2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: China

        Yes there've been a handful of dodgy/bullshit actions by the CIA over the last 30-40 years, but it's a handful and were exceeding their authority/remit and were called out when sprung.

        I'm sure it could be funny in some way but I'm under the impression that you don't jest.

    5. M.V. Lipvig

      Except that it isn't. While I'm sure Boeing does its part in corp espionage, just as Airbus does, China is well known as a nation that makes stealing IP from foreign nations and companies a way of life. I think I can speak for most everyone here that it would be a surprise if it wasn't China. I'm even ruling out NK on this, since their hackers seem more interested in targeting banks than anything else. China wants to be a world power with absolute control over Asia and its surrounding waters, which requires that you at least be able to match your adversaries. You can't do that flying propeller biplanes against Mach-capable aircraft no matter how many of them you have. China MUST steal advanced fighter craft IP, in order to compete. If Boeing were stealing it, we'd be seeing reports of how similar their systems are, or reports on how effective Boeing countermeasures are against Airbus fightercraft.

  2. SkippyBing Silver badge

    'Its military division is also responsible for a number of helicopter designs in military service worldwide, including the Puma medium-lift helo flown by the RAF.'

    Although that's rather by accident, the RAF Pumas are probably the most original still in service having only been upgraded after about 40 years of use and technically having the model designation SA330 for Sud Aviation the company that was merged to form Aérospatiale before that merged to become Eurocopter, before that became Airbus Helicopters. They bear very little relation to the version now produced by Airbus, the undercarriage is narrower, there's less cabin space, and the gearbox has less of a tendency to let the rotorhead fly off so you plummet to your death. I mean I still wouldn't get in one but that's not really Airbus' fault.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Given the first flight was 1965, some 54 years ago, I don't see how being the ultimate parent of the design authority for Puma has any bearing on a hack of Airbus. Even with mods and refits, it is still a half century old relic, not some high tech, cutting edge secret. The Chinese already appear to have lifted the design of the Sikorsky Black Hawk, rumoured to have been helped by access to the broken Stealth Hawk that US forces carelessly left behind in Bin Laden's back yard.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        'The Chinese already appear to have lifted the design of the Sikorsky Black Hawk'

        I think owning some probably helped with that.

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Nothing is stolen "by chance". Everything happens for a reason.

    Contacts may be stolen but then again phishing infiltration starts at somewhere.

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