The aim of this hacking operation was to acquire intellectual property to narrow China's technological gap in the aviation industry, and especially to help Comac, a Chinese state-owned aerospace manufacturer, build its own airliner, the C919 airplane, to compete with industry rivals like Airbus and Boeing.
A Crowdstrike report published today shows how this coordinated multi-year hacking campaign systematically went after the foreign companies that supplied components for the C919 airplane.
The end goal, Crowdstrike claims, was to acquire the needed intellectual property to manufacture all of the C919's components inside China.
Building #China's Comac C919 airplane involved a lot of hacking, report says - One of China's most brazen hacking sprees involved intelligence officers, hackers, security researchers, and company insiders A must read https://t.co/lBwWA6j8PT— IndoPacific_SCS_Info (@IndoPac_Info) October 15, 2019
Crowdstrike claims that the Ministry of State Security (MSS) tasked the Jiangsu Bureau (MSS JSSD) to carry out these attacks.
The Jiangsu Bureau, in turn, tasked two lead officers to coordinate these efforts. One was in charge of the actual hacking team, while the second was tasked with recruiting insiders working at aviation and aerospace companies.
The hacking team targeted companies between 2010 and 2015, and successfully breached C919 suppliers like Ametek, Honeywell, Safran, Capstone Turbine, GE, and others.
But unlike in other Chinese hacks, where China used cyber-operatives from military units, for these hacks, the MSS took another approach, recruiting local hackers and security researchers. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full report (16 PDF pages), on the Crowdstrike website.