|The COMAC C919 Passenger Jet|
That percentage, in itself, didn't seem too surprising so I decided to look at 11 more randomly selected U.S. aviation companies and of those, only 3 (27%) publicly acknowledged being the victim of a cyber attack. However, after digging a little further, I learned that of those 3 companies, 2 (67%) also had joint ventures in China! Our sample suggests that aerospace companies who have joint ventures in China are being attacked more than twice as often as aerospace companies who don't have joint ventures in the PRC.
We aren't suggesting that China is behind the attacks. Rather, that technology which is valuable to China is also valuable to international hacker groups who believe that they can find a buyer for the stolen data.
As far as I know, this is the first study of its kind to demonstrate that a specific industrial sector (Aerospace) of high value to the Chinese government yields an increased risk of cyber attack to U.S. aerospace companies who are doing business in China. I'll be discussing the implications of this study during my presentation at the AIAA conference on August 12th and will be taking a deep dive into our research at a Suits and Spooks luncheon event in McLean, VA on Sept 10th. Our venue in McLean has limited seating so register early.