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Airbus hit by series of cyber attacks on suppliers (france24.com)
289 points by keydutch 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 183 comments





Other comments here incorrectly pointing out that Boeing and Airbus don't manufacture in China - they do. And why wouldn't they, it's obviously much cheaper to manufacture there given material and labor costs. Obviously they don't manufacture highly sensitive military aircraft in China, but commercial aircraft, sure why not.

What they don't do is the design, testing, and certification in China. This is the real IP - not the materials or the assembly techniques, but how to navigate the regulatory landscape of the FAA and the EASA in extremely complex hardware/software integrated systems. The article mentions certification documents/evidence as a primary target.

The funny thing in all this is that passengers inherently trust the FAA and EASA operated system and inherently do not trust a Chinese-owned, manufactured, and regulated system for commercial aircraft. When really this breach was all about the money - Chinese companies want to get in on Boeing and Airbus' market.

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I will say that Boeing isn't doing itself any favors with it's cost cutting efforts on the 737 MAX, and that if it wants to keep consumers trust in its planes over the perception of "inferior" foreign competition, it needs to work much more closely with the FAA to ensure safety is the primary motivating factor on new designs and does not get overriden by fuel efficiency.


They manufacture in China not mainly because it's cheaper (lots of places are cheaper than their home countries), but because it's the only way to get a significant part of the large Chinese market.

> inherently do not trust a Chinese-owned, manufactured, and regulated system for commercial aircraft

This is true, but it was also true for European airliners in the US at a time. And it took time and effort, but it changed.


On the Boeing facility:

"Work at the facility was limited to the plane’s interior, including installing seats and other cabin equipment. More responsibilities will be added over time, such as painting the exterior, but the center is primarily meant for completion and delivery, with the main manufacturing remaining in the US."


This video from Wendover Productions discusses specifically that they setup "finishing" centers in China for the planes they are selling into China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjbYloKJX7c

> it needs to work much more closely with the FAA

Some would argue that working too closely with the FAA is the problem.


Russia has expertise building airliners. Wonder why manufacturers never took to producing there for cheap labor? My guess is China leveraged their market potential to entice cos to take some of their mfg to China.

Russian industry was taken over by the mafia. That is much less tenable than the situation with China.


> The funny thing in all this is that passengers inherently trust the FAA

Not anymore.


Anecdata: Not true. Most people aren't even aware of recent events.

My circle of friends is a pretty wide net and only one coworker knows about the Boeing nonsense, and he admitted it was because of Hacker News.


Surely people have noticed the thousands of cancelled flights?

Not if you are not affected by them.

The thousands of canceled flights are over millions, and the average person doesn't fly that much. Around one round trip a year in the US.

In fact, while I am very aware of the B737-MAX fiasco because I am interested in the technical side of things, I didn't even realize there were thousands of canceled flights. Sure, it is something I should know, but it is not like canceled flights are a remarkable event, and because I wasn't affected by it, I didn't really think about it.


If you've already missed it in the news, you're certainly only going to notice your own cancelled flight.

How many people do you know who frequently took flights right at the time when this was all happening? If I were not an avid reader of the news, I'd have no clue. Before this, I also would not have cared to check what airplane my flight was when I did fly.

> How many people do you know who frequently took flights right at the time when this was all happening?

They’re still being cancelled daily now! I know AA alone is cancelling over 100 flights a day. It’s not something in the past.


Are they canceling those flights, or are they not offering them? It's a big difference. People notice when a flight they've already booked is canceled. They don't notice flights that were never shown to them in the first place. I fly regularly between Boston and Seattle. I've noticed that my choice of flights is less than it was, but if I were a less regular flier on that route I'd have no idea that the selection was even reduced let alone of the reasons.

Article about Chinese government stealing Airbus property and here we go derailing it towards Boeing.

> "Globally recognized standards, such as ISO 27001, 27701 and 9001, can definitely ensure a baseline of security, privacy and quality assurance amid suppliers. One should, however, bear in mind that they are no silver bullet and some additional monitoring of suppliers handling critical business data is a requisite.”

This is misleading.

ISO standards dictate that a company should have certain processes in place. Like quality assurance, customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, ect. They do not specify individual processes or procedures to the company. They just lay out which structures should exist in an ISO compliant company. It is up to the company to develop processes and procedures that fulfill those structures.

The specific standards that are a "silver bullet" (as the author puts it) are NIST 800-171 "DFARS", ITAR, AS9100, NADCAP, and other smaller (yet equally significant) manufacturer-specific specifications that get flowed down the supply-chain on an as-needed basis.

So there is no ambiguity. If a supplier does business with a diverse enough client base in aerospace they will almost certainly have overlapping systems in place to protect against these things. Without pretty much all of the specifications I listed above, a supplier would not legally limited in what they are allowed to possess and produce.


Do companies with ISO certifications ever get reviewed after-the-fact? Or do you just have to check the right checkboxes during an initial review process?

I'm pretty sure ISO 9001 companies are audited every 4 years at their own expense.

Basically an auditor comes and quizzes you on your own processes. You must show that you have processes which meet ISO criteria, and that you religiously follow those processes.

Basically you have a lot of freedom to develop your business, just be sure you adhere to whatever you put into writing.


Back in the day of Total Quality Management and ISO9002 the software company I worked for decided to get itself certified. Problem was, nobody had a clue how to quickly describe the business of creating software as a set of processes, let alone apply them in measurable ways under the beady gaze of an auditor. So with evil inspiration it was decreed that the software division had no processes at all. The customers could rest assured that the Accounts and Marketing departments were fully ISO9002 compliant - as for the actual product they were buying? spun out of desperate sweat and divine revelations so far as they could tell.

But this didn't entirely get the software division off the hook. We still had to be able to show an auditor that we knew our processes were excluded. So there was a special folder containing just one functional page besides the meta-bumf to support it, and it read (in effect) "THE ACTIVITIES OF THE SOFTWARE DEPT ARE EXCLUDED FROM ISO9002 PROCESSES". And we were all trained to be able to produce it upon demand.

We passed the audit. Our letterhead paper gained the magical ISO9002 seal of approval. The administrator who had championed the long and expensive business sprung from its success to a much larger company. In her absence the process documentation for the rest of the company quietly withered and when the follow-up audit came due we quietly neglected to apply for it. The letterhead paper was reprinted with a snazzier logo and no seal of approval. We got back to work, quietly apprehending the next big thing.


That is a great story!

I've seen companies pack trunks of cars with unclaimed scrap. Buy a 55' trailer with cash, fill it with stuff, then claim it belongs to the neighbors. Load material onto 30' racks and send the forklift operators home.

It's almost better that your company committed to ISO to kinda get organized and then let it slide afterwards. I'd almost say it's worth it in a medium sized company every 10 years just to stay accountable and organized.


It was all worth it for the line on her resume.

> I'm pretty sure ISO 9001 companies are audited every 4 years at their own expense

Eh, kind of? I currently work for one and they haven't been audited in over a decade. The history goes: once upon a time, they were seeking certification because $potential_buyer asked about it. They failed the first audit quite miserably, and the next. By the third time, they squeezed by and were certified. The auditors came back 2 times in the next 2 years to make sure they were still compliant, and by the third year the auditors just asked if their processes had changed (without bothering to scrutinize everything again). They had not, and the auditors have not reached out ever since. The company is still certified. I think in theory they've "checked" since then but no one at the company can recall them actually showing up/auditing.


ISO27001 (the main security one) has annual reviews which are more lightweight. After two years, the three-year cycle restarts.

Almost every certification is a recurring income generator for the certificating parties. Some are annual, others bi-annual or even longer periods between certifications but none that I am aware of are 'forever'.

That makes sense. My goal in life is to never work for a company where that type of thing would be considered seriously.

So, the following are out: aerospace, fintech, medtech, insurance, anything requiring a login through a local account (not through some identity provider) and so on. You'd be surprised how many companies are now operating in territory where certification is either a hard requirement or where it will help them to ensure that they are good stewards of the data they hold.

How does one know that a particular attack is "state-sponsored" or originates from a particular country? Exactly what does it mean to be "state-sponsored"? And who provides this analysis?

You look at the the target and analyze the methods used in the attack to make that determination. For example, a zero-day exploit involving expensive equipment screams state-sponsored. Criminal enterprises wouldn't waste their money and resources analyzing and attacking Juicero machines in an embassy.

Also, the same tools and techniques get recycled, so you can use clues from previous attacks to tie together a motive.

> Exactly what does it mean to be "state-sponsored"?

It means an attack was either performed by a foreign agency or by a group getting paid to act on their behalf.

> And who provides this analysis?

Government agencies and private companies provide these types of analysis services.


Without talking about the controversial technical indicators of a state sponsored attack, you can figure it out based on the motive, complexity of the attack, and who is being targeted.

Criminal attacks have a profit related motive, which can be distilled down into "if we spend $X dollars trying to hack Y, we can probably get a payoff of $Z"

If an attack is extremely expensive and has very little potential payoff, you can be pretty sure it's not being done by a criminal organization.

You may wonder "how do you prove it's not being done by not-profit motivated hacktivists?". Hacktivist groups usually have limited resources (that doesn't mean they're not dangerous!). If scale of the attack/payload suggests a team of 10-30 skilled professionals working full time for a year or so, it's probably not a hacktivist group. Hacktivist groups also tend to proudly announce responsibility whenever they pull off successful attacks.


Same people who attribute attacks to North Korea and the Russian federation, etc.

A question I've always wondered, and relevant here. If this is inter-company (and probably intra-company) communication, why don't these companies manually exchange one-time pads and use them? It's surely not hard for a courier to carry literally terabytes of OTP, and report if it was taken off them at any point.

I was thinking of tape or HD, but now you an have the courier carry a terabyte of OTP in a few USB sticks.


Let's say you do that:

1. Send giant HD of OTP bits to other office.

2. Everyone at that office who needs to communicate, so you make those bits accessible on the internal network so various machines can get to it.

3. Now a hacker that accesses the network can get to your OTP bits.

At that point, you're no better than using some other security mechanism.


Oh FFS. I was expecting some silly answer involving couriers being intercepted but this is just as bad.

> 3. Now a hacker that accesses the network can get to your OTP bits.

Which is on an internal network so is not exposed (unlike the contents of a VPN which necessarily goes external) so can be more secure. While nothing's unhackable it adds an extra layer to break through.

That the article says "It was very sophisticated and targeted the VPN which connected the company to Airbus" shows the VPN was the weak link, and not the internal networks. So harden the weakest link.


The way I figure, if a sophisticated attack is so sophisticated that it can only be state-sponsored, then it is sophisticated enough to appear to be sponsored by another country.

Your problem here is ability and motive. What other countries are capable of executing this attack and would want to steal this information? As far as I know Comac is the only company that is attempting to build planes that rival Boeing and Airbus for commercial flight so you have your motive. The Chinese have a history of corporate espionage (lookup Huawei and Nortel) and given that Comac is a state owned company you can clearly understand why they would try to steal information.

If you're trying to frame someone, there has to be a plausible explanation for why you would do it.


>Comac is the only company that is attempting to build planes that rival Boeing and Airbus

Boeing also competes with Airbus, as in actively competes in real dollar terms compared to Comac which is more or less aspirational. Given their current situation they have as much incentive to hack Airbus, plus they've been accused recently:

Airbus to sue NSA, German spies accused of swiping tech secrets

>European aerospace giant Airbus is promising legal action over claims its top blueprints were stolen by German spies and given to America's intelligence agencies.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/30/airbus_us_german_in...

My view is that both Boeing and Comac is actively stealing from airbus because why wouldn't they?


Yes, US/NSA/Boeing must at least be under suspicion in these circumstances.

As the Comac C919 approaches certification and full production, airlines, especially Chinese ones, will delay orders, to wait and see, or actively prefer the C919 over the 737 series. Even if the C919 is delayed with the usual teething troubles, many customers will decide to wait, or buy Airbus if they have to.

At this point, Boeing is the weakest of the three competitors in the mid-size market, and must be desperate to do anything to survive.


The US also has a long history of state-sponsored industrial espionage. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

Out of curiosity: why is China not mentioned in the article's title, when the first sentence states a "Chinese state-sponsored hacking operation"?

Leaving essential information out of the headline is a common clickbaiting tactic.

It took my vouch to un-dead your comment, useful because I couldn't reply to it otherwise. I'm morbidly fascinated as to how the top two comments on this submission were marked dead in the first place, but considering it took a vouch to automatically bring it back to life, there's a hint of a Flag brigade on this thread.

To answer your comment: because the title of the submission "Airbus Suppliers Hit in State-Sponsored Attack" and the title of the article "Airbus Suppliers Hit in State-Sponsored Attack" are identical, and that's totally fine. Changing the title of the submission to include a detail from the article actually editorializes the submission, which is not ideal for HN or the audience here.


Please don't post insinuations of astroturfing or similar manipulation ("Flag brigade") without evidence. If you're concerned about abuse, please follow the site guidelines and email hn@ycombinator.com so we can look into it.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Hm, I didn't bucket flag-brigading into the astroturfing bucket (specifically because they're quite different - one suppresses speech whereas the other purports to be grassroots speech). Your point is well taken, but going forward dang, there's value in adding the "or similar manipulation" qualifier to the current iteration of guidelines:

> Please don't make insinuations about astroturfing. It degrades discussion and is usually mistaken. If you're worried, email us and we'll look at the data.

Hopefully this comment is viewed as both the acknowledgement as well as the constructive feedback it's intended to be.


For sure it's constructive. I'll see about expanding the wording.

Edit: ok, done. https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


I took the comment to mean, why does the original article's title not have 'Chinese' in the title.

In these days of click-bait "news", it's a valid question.


The user you're replying to has been leaving a trail of dead comments since https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14150381

If it's marked as [dead] but not [flagged], the comment was killed automatically. No reason to suspect brigading.


Out of curiosity, why did you omit the word 'possible' from the sentence you quoted.

These days state-sponsored has become a euphemism for Chinese.

Nah. For example Sony was hacked by North Korea. CIA was repeatedly hacked by Russia (Vault 7, director emails). And yes, every high-tech US corporation is sucked dry of secrets by China (Micron, Intel, Supermicro, Waymo, Boeing, etc.)

China wins by a huge margin.

It depends on who the boogeyman de jour is.

It was North Korea for a while, with every major hack blamed on them, then it was Russia, and now it's China - lo and behold, they get the blame for every major hack.

Now, I'm not saying it wasn't China - what I'm saying is that Western governments make it like "the body who cried wolf".


Don't forget about Iran.

As a data point, China's "hacker army" has 50k-100k people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_cyberwarfare


The supporting link for that figure describes China's hackers army as a myth (in the header), and as a loose coalition of civilians in the body:

>"That revelation, along with a separate story in the Financial Times that a freelancer wrote the Aurora code, is focusing attention on China’s loose web of cowboy hackers. And SharpWinner — the leader of a coalition including anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 civilian members …" //

The rest of the Wikipedia page, amongst other things, describes a structured make up (military, PLA, civilian).

Assuming the numbers were true, how does that compare to USA's, or other countries?


"Airbus Suppliers Hit in State-Sponsored Attack" would imply China is 100% known to be the hacking operation, and that China was convicted of doing such a thing in a court. This is not true, and would be grounds for libel.

"Airbus Suppliers Possibly Hit in Chinese State-Sponsored Attack" is less attractive as a headline.


Is there any way you can "libel" a country outside of sedition? Worrying about publishing something that might be seditious in China seems like splitting hairs, since the body of the article directly points the finger at Chinese hackers.

Libel against a country?

That's like slandering the ground.

Reminds me of Xerxes, king of Persia had the ocean whipped after a storm destroyed his bridge.


Interesting how Boeing and Airbus don't manufacture in China, and coincidentally China hasn't been able to produce any viable competitor to those products.

Goes to show that without easy access to product blueprints/IP at the factories, China is very slow to actually innovate on their own. Hence why I feel the "China will outpace everyone in tech and take over the world" is super overblown.

Even their university culture practically encourages cheating in classes to pass, so you have generations of students graduating with weak understanding of the fundamentals. The US is obviously not a perfect meritocracy, but China is super far from that.

An economic model where American/European/Japanese/Korean tech is stolen and then friends of politicians are gifted CEO positions of companies that clone that stolen tech...not sustainable at all. If you want a painful example of what I'm talking about, watch the AI debate between Jack Ma and Elon Musk. It's so clear that Ma has an absolutely minuscule understanding of the AI landscape.

When robotic manufacturing eventually becomes cheaper and faster than manufacturing in China, meaning they'll no longer have IP to steal, they are in huge trouble.


Please don't take HN threads into nationalistic flamewar. Those discussions are all the same, i.e. predictable, i.e. lacking in curiosity and therefore off topic here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


My apologies, definitely not my intention. Was more-so a personal rant on the importance of meritocracy. Noted.

Airbus manufactures in China. They have a large factory in Tianjin [1].

China is on course to have its own commercial airliner soon [2]

[1] https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/news/en/2018/09/airbus--chin...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comac_C919


Perhaps, but the article itself says that Comac is having problems certifying its (first) commercial airliner. And part of what was targeted was Airbus data relating to certification.

I add (first) because I've read about the C919 elsewhere.


Boeing is having problems with its new planes... Designing and building airliners from scratch is not easy but China will get there because it's of strategic importance, and then the current duopoly will be broken.

But Boeing's problem isn't an innovation problem. Boeing's problem is ceding engineering decisions to marketing wanks and MBA bros.

And I did my first job programming some groce frontends for them to use the inhouse-pipeline of a major Airbus subcontractor, which they rebuil(t/d).

The subcontractor did this entirely willingly and I don't blame them, given that Airbus treated them like sh*. Sure they were not the absolute cutting edge business, but they do a solid job and have a strong engineering background (from the times of MBB, DASA & Co. - their IT in the eng department was horrible). And yet when negotiating a contract for a new test (volume of the contract similar to price of the very specialized equipment necessary), Airbus haggled and put taking it inhouse on the table (they could certainly do that, but as the history of german industry shows, this is just an intimidation tactic for mooore profit).

So the management started to sell to COMAC (basically acting as an intermediary for another not as well-connected german supplier, which also likes to sell to China but can't get around export regulations...), which is basically a sell out, but apparently we want it that way given the protection politics give those predatory bit companies around here (never hear anyone calling Airbus for fair treatment of their supply chain)


Also AFAIK: (1) There is a mandatory pilot Airbus training facility in Zhongshan, I believe for China Southern. (2) There is a Rolls Royce engine repair facility in Zhuhai. (3) Cirrus was bought by China and are establishing production in Zhuhai.

... and that's just airline related tech stuff I have passively become aware of within 50km of my office in the last 12 months.


Seems like China would have an incentive to get the other IP from Airbus's suppliers to make their own competitor.

Sure. Anyone who is in business has an incentive to get the other guy's secrets...

Unless you are truly innovating, then you don't care what the other guy is doing. Spying is only good for keeping up.

What if the other guy is also innovating? What about what they plan to do next?

Let's be honest here. Everyone has an incentive to gain insight into what everyone else is doing.

Everyone is spying on everyone else.


So do you think DEC was spying on Intel during the Alpha days? Whatever they could’ve learned wouldn’t be worth the effort.

Everyone tries to get the other guy's secrets.

I don't know a company that doesn't. How far would they go? That depends. Sometimes governments help...


your assumptions and blanket statements about everyone doing things is just wrong. Its like someone who promises anything @ 100%... you know they aren't truthful, because nothing is 100%. How would you know what info the other guy gave you isn't a fools errand rather then useful info? Counterintelligence is a thing.

Lots of companies don't pay attention to their competitors aside from just passing glances. Sometimes your competitions action is not in any way visible to you, for instance when trying to win top secret gov design contracts. When you are on the bleeding edge or the only one working on something, there is just no need. I could come up with a lot of reasons why spying is useless(not saying it doesn't have a use, just not useful in every case as you propose)... but i guess i am confident in things, rather than paranoid. Worrying about what someone else is doing is just wasting time, unless they are coming for you.


My comment is not an assumption or a blanket statement, it's the simple reality.

There is never a single company working on the bleeding edge. Those who are take a lot of precautions to keep their secrets and are keen to learn their competitors' secrets.

If you work on the cutting edge in tech just send your CV to your company's main competitor. They'll be quick to invite you for interview... To buy your competitor's product to take it apart and study it is also a time-honoured classic. These are just basic examples.


I would hope that Ken Olson was more honest than that, although I guess you never know.

> Interesting how Boeing and Airbus don't manufacture in China, and coincidentally China hasn't been able to produce any viable competitor to those products.

Actually, they have a narrowbody competitor set to enter production: https://airlinegeeks.com/2018/03/17/20567/

Also:

> Boeing has built a B737 finishing factory and Airbus has a final A320 final assembly plant in China, with Airbus planning on building a wide-body jet plant in the country as well.


Airbus has been manufacturing in China for a while now and Boeing opened a plant more recently.

China doesn't make internationally competitive aircraft because making internationally competitive aircraft is very hard.


They're way behind schedule, but they are working on it. A recent Wendover video looked at the current state of affairs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjbYloKJX7c

"Asked about the possibility of technology transfer agreements between Boeing and COMAC, Bruns stressed that the purpose of the plant was for installing seats, painting vehicles, and completing the planes’ final delivery.

“That’s only a part of what we do in the production of airplanes,” he said."


I've conducted technical interviews for approximately 200 students and recent graduates - around 100 each from American and elite Chinese universities.

I've seen absolutely zero evidence for your view that "a generation" of Chinese students has graduated with "weak understanding of the fundamentals" compared to Americans.

I'm happy to discuss further (surely my interviews are imperfect tests and the samples are biased in some ways), but let's ground the discussion in evidence. Where did you get this idea?


A few questions: do you repeat any interview questions across candidates? Do you work for a company that sponsors H1Bs? Does your company have some "prestige" (either a highly visible startup or one of Facebook/Google/Microsoft/Apple/etc)? If so, then your questions are almost certainly available online and talked about in detail within the Chinese community.

I would like to point you to (and encourage a search of your questions or your company): https://www.1point3acres.com/bbs/ . This is probably the largest board out there that shares interview questions (and answers!), techniques, approaches, etc... including leaks of questions, "help" from insiders at large companies, and more. If you seem to suspect that there is some sort of nation-based component to your Chinese interviewees doing quite well, I suspect you may find your study is poisoned and I recommend a redo. As an American, I have not found something similar to 1p3a in terms of the wealth of information available for getting recruited at large companies.

1p3a isn't the only one out there either. There are many more. This is just the one I've been able to hear coworkers and students when I was in undergrad talk about a lot.


Thanks for the the heads-up :)

I hadn't heard about that specific board, but I'm certainly aware that students frequently collaborate in various public and private ways. It's definitely true that my company would be a prominent target, so we take various measures to try to defend against preparation like this.

For clarity, I didn't mean to imply that I had done a formal study. I'm just reporting my personal experience.

Editing to add: I'm really interested in other people's experience, too! I'm honestly curious how this person got the idea that the college grads do not know the fundamentals well. Maybe they're testing fundamentals in a way I'm not and I can learn.


> ... technical interviews ...

Technical interviews are manufactured tests that can be easily gamed. The idea that any valuable insight can be drawn from them is naïve at best. Further, the post was specifically about innovation -- given this constraint, technical interviews are notoriously bad at separating the wheat from the chaff (e.g. product questions are non-existent in technical interviews).

"Fundamentals" can mean different things to different people, but let's not pretend technical interviews are a reliable signal.


You don't know anything about the parent's process so your assumptions are pretty wild

The parent's anecdotal experience is still a valuable datapoint in the face of two baseless stereotypes:

1. Chinese educated people lack fundamentals and are ill equipped for innovation

2. Technical interviews are at best a naive mechanism for evaluating candidates


Which of my points do you think are in contention? That technical interviews can be gamed? That product questions aren't asked? Or that technical interviews produce bad signals?

Because I have plenty of evidence for all of the above, and the fact that technical hiring is profoundly broken is discussed ad nauseam on HN.


You didn't actually offer a refutation of anything the parent comment said.

Of course the elite students from Chinese universities are going to be brilliant, as elite students from any country generally will be. It would be ridiculous for me to claim that every single student in China doesn't understand the fundamentals of their field.

However, an academic culture that doesn't see anything wrong with cheating will mean their average cohort of students have a much weaker understanding of fundamentals compared to average students from a country that doesn't tolerate that.


Sampling bias. The small percentage that put in the effort would be the ones applying for jobs at top US companies.

Google coding interviews are meant to test if a candidate would be good at coding for Google, not for building innovative companies.

> Even their university culture practically encourages cheating in classes to pass, so you have generations of students graduating with weak understanding of the fundamentals.

There is some truth in that, but it's quite exaggerated and sounds like a conclusion someone without deeper understanding of China AND US would make.

If someone only learned about US education system via news sources, the picture being drawn is gonna be quite bleak, sex, drugs, anti-intellectual, bribery for admission, racism, classism, etc. ...while in reality, it's mostly working pretty well, but nobody is getting views by writing about smart and hard working students doing well in school.


I think the opposite is the case here. There seems to be a deep sense of pride from Chinese in particular who are able to "game the system" so to speak. There is indeed a majority of the populace who may just be normal folk working hard, but a non-negligible amount do indeed cheat their way through school at a rate that is not even comparable to anywhere in the west.

> Interesting how Boeing and Airbus don't manufacture in China, and coincidentally China hasn't been able to produce any viable competitor to those products.

Already debunked in this thread.

> Even their university culture practically encourages cheating

It is not like we'd not have this in western culture. They use the same metres we do: titles and names of educational institutions attended. As with every metric. those who understand it exploit it to cheat those who apply it.

> An economic model where American/European/Japanese/Korean tech is stolen and then friends of politicians are gifted CEO positions of companies that clone that stolen tech...not sustainable at all.

With a billion people behind it, it is actually pretty easy - you just outlive competitors while you pay for the losses out of pocket. And that is what western companies have been championing: If compliance says "we accept the risk", we take the risk.

> When robotic manufacturing eventually becomes cheaper and faster than manufacturing in China, meaning they'll no longer have IP to steal, they are in huge trouble.

So are we. Who is going to be able to afford the products if we all are replaced by robots in the workplace?


> Who is going to be able to afford the products if we all are replaced by robots in the workplace?

!=

> When robotic manufacturing eventually becomes cheaper and faster than manufacturing in China

That is a straw man argument. Manufacturing is one of the leading frontiers in automation. It's going to be cheaper to manufacture things outside of China due to automation long before a significant enough portion of the workforce is out of work due to automation and unable to afford the manufactured goods.


> > Interesting how Boeing and Airbus don't manufacture in China, and coincidentally China hasn't been able to produce any viable competitor to those products.

>Already debunked in this thread.

Seems to be true, although they're only manufacturing interior parts. Certainly nothing high tech.


All very plausible, but maybe aerospace is just something they're weak at while getting strong on others (computer vision recently, but maybe that was also stealing I can't say).

Anecdotally, the strongest student grade wise I've seen in college was a Chinese one. I don't think she managed to cheat there.


> Interesting how Boeing and Airbus don't manufacture in China

https://qz.com/1497137/boeings-china-plant-delivers-first-je...


Airbus does have final assembly lines in china. I guess they have no access to blueprint of components

I would still pick a good leader who isn't necessarily a technical expert over Elon Musk's "AI will become self aware and take over the world" schtick.

I would think Pascal's Wager can be applied to that. If Musk is wrong, being extra careful with AI will just mean slightly slower development. If he's right and we don't take it seriously, humanity is wiped out. Why take the chance?

Pascal's Wager is considered a joke for good reason. It's not any less a terrible argument here than in philosophy.

If you go outside, you might get struck by a car. Why take the chance?

Awareness of a risk isn't very helpful if it doesn't come with an understanding of the odds and the costs and benefits involved.


Pascal's Wager is something you either make or don't make based on your own understanding of the odds of each outcome and the costs of each outcome.

Clearly you have a different understanding than Elon.


I thought that pascal's Wager only works with infinite reward/ punishment.

End of humanity is in the grand scheme of things something trivial. It's just happens and then nobody suffers. so there must be a probability low enough to balance it out.


AI won’t have to do much— humanity already on course to destroy itself.

> Interesting how Boeing and Airbus don't manufacture in China

Airbus has been building aircrafts at a Final Assembly Line in Tianjin since 2009. And many Airbus/Boeing suppliers have formed joint-ventures with Chinese companies to bid on contracts for the C919.


Virtually every industrialized economy since the Industrial revolution has developed in part by 'borrowing' or stealing existing technology. Not making a moral judgment here, but economically it makes no sense to reinvent the wheel.

You might be right that predictions of China's rise is overblown, but we forget how crappy Korean technology was just a couple of decades ago, and there's no reason it can't happen again.

Regarding the Ma/Musk debate, that seems like a strawman argument. Ma studied English in college and his strengths are his business and political accumen, not technical ability. There's plenty of people in China with a better understanding of the AI landscape.


See the book “Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World” by Steven Johnson for interesting examples of agricultural theft (the history of vanilla was fascinating). Here’s a video lecture from Steve that may include some, but I only just found it while double checking the book title. http://longnow.org/seminars/02017/jan/04/wonderland-how-play...

> It's so clear that Ma has an absolutely minuscule understanding of the AI landscape.

I have no idea if Jack Ma knows about the ML landscape or not. But it's clear just by taking an anti-alarmist stance he's correct.


Confirmation biais at its finest.

Jack Ma was an English teacher and does not even know how to use keyboards. You expect him to know what Machine Learning algorithms do?

That’s quite an extrapolation from China’s supposedly lack of a Boeing/Airbus competitor. Does the Comac C919 not count?

[flagged]


This is really similar to criticisms of Taiwan and Japan as they climbed up the tech advancement scale. Both of them now have for example in one HN related field, silicon foundries that rival the best of what's in the US. In terms of scale, China probably has far more PV capacity than the US (not sure where it sits relative to Japan).

I think it's an odd mix of self superiority/discrimination that actually lets the US sit back too relaxed and not competing on difficult and often costly, but fundamental investments (not just in silicon, but other industrial areas too). And too often there is too little coercion needed for US companies when they do make investments, siting manufacturing capacity in other nations while chasing lowest cost labor.


It's hard to judge. If you compare China to the old days of USSR - I wouldn't think USSR was that great at creative thinking, either (on a bigger scale).

But USSR also maintained multiple closed cities which would contain the smartest people they had in the whole of the union. I am certain if you picked a few people from there they would be of a completely different opinion of what USSR was at the time as well.

So I am wondering if modern-day China has those, too. They might not be bringing huge industries to fruition based on their research - but on the other hand they might be working on strategic projects such as submarines, etc that are hard to clearly see behind the usual commercial noise.


USSR had a lot of bright people; mathematicians and people involved in military air and space endeavors come to mind.

I don't like a certain conflation of terms in discussions like these - merging together creative thinking and business. The two things are only vaguely related. To overuse a tired term, inventing a better mousetrap spring != designing a better mousetrap != being able to make that better mousetrap a commercial success. The last part involves a lot of work that isn't creative, and that benefits from business-friendly conditions, which are not necessary for the creative work itself.


That's an interesting point. Who knows what could actually be going behind closed doors in China? A lot of what we hear from China comes from second hand sources. If the Chinese are doing big things, their government seems pretty tight lipped on revealing breakthroughs and their progress (unlike the USSR.)

> I wouldn't think USSR was that great at creative thinking, either (on a bigger scale).

True, especially in the later years of the USSR. But they did launch a satellite into space before anyone else. At some point they were creative thinkers, at least.


The USSR was the first to reach every major milestone in the race to land on the moon, apart from the final one.

And they did win the race to space, something we often forget.

We underestimate China to our own peril.


USSR had a much stronger engineering apparatus than China does. They beat the US to launching a human in space, then beat them again with the first artificial satellite. Sure they stole nuclear weapons technology from the US/UK teams, but that was more-so a matter of self preservation.

I want to emphasize that there are tons of incredibly brilliant minds in China working on amazing things. It's their government system that makes it so that rather than incentivizing innovation, they've focused on building the most efficient IP theft system the world has ever seen.


There's also the internal versus external market. Chinese are not stealing IP for the sake of making the same stuff but with cheaper labor. Whether you get the IP by buying or stealing, building something new on top of that IP is still creative innovation, and they do a lot of that. In fact, not respecting western IP with all its associated innovation-stopping practices lets them iterate at a pace not seen in the West.

See e.g. some of the stuff Bunnie wrote here: https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?cat=20, starting with: https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?page_id=3107.


I know the Chinese government has made a concerted effort to steal IP. Still I also find the descriptions of Chinese culture, and Asian culture in general, that demean it as imitative and incapable of creative thought not as rational descriptions of the world, but instead bizarre holdovers of old racist ideologies repackaged in more palatable contemporary business-lingo.

What other Asian countries in the present day are frequently accused of stealing IP? I don't get how you're arriving at it being a broadly Asian thing, when it's quite specifically a Chinese phenomenon. Conflating China to mean "all Asians" is pretty racist in and of itself.

https://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archiv...

Just a replay of history with the country name replaced.


There are broad stereotypes about Asians and conformity that are at play in the parent comments assumptions about what China’s weaknesses are

There’s a lot of IP theft but they can make a lot of progress by simply catching up. Chinese culture is very capitalistic and innovation is not going to be a problem.

Wow, these are some seriously racist comments.

That comment was bad for taking the thread into nationalistic flamewar, but this comment is also bad for taking the thread further into flamewar.

Please don't do that. The site guidelines specifically ask you not to:

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


It is not an attack on a race of people. There is an SCMP article on the problematic atmosphere of cheating in Chinese schools [1], and dozens by Chinese contributors to large, mainstream publications.

[1]:https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1974986...


I'm not sure how race comes into it. We are talking about a single country, not a race. The original commenter even mentioned Japan and Korea as examples of countries that are different from China in this regard.

Not only the comment is about a particular nation of people, "race" is essentially an Americanism at this point, and it's tiring to see attempts at coerce everything into a "race" problem.

China, the country != Chinese (Asian?), the race

What does race have to do with any of this? I'm discussing their government's economic and academic model. That's like saying criticism of America's healthcare system is racist against whites, because that's their majority ethnic group.

If anything, it says a lot about you that you associated everything I said with their ethnicity rather than the government itself.


The term "racism" includes both race-based as well as ethnicity-based stereotyping. See, for example, Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

The idea of Chinese companies/universities/etc. being uncreative and over-reliant on imitation and industrial espionage is quite obviously a somewhat tired cliché. I'm certain it makes an appearance in almost every single front page comment threat on the Chinese economy of the last five years or so.

There might even be a kernel of truth. But, as others have pointed out, the same was said of Japan and Taiwan before. In such a situation, you should be wary of repeating such stereotypes if you don't have first-hand experience, which I doubt many of those regurgitating that trope have.


China is a country, with a different education system, which produces different outcomes and culture.

Nobody is making any claim whatsoever about the behavior of Chinese-Americans or Chinese-Europeans. That would be racist.


Nationalist comments, not racist.

[flagged]


China has 56 ethnic groups. When you say something bad about China, you're talking about the nation. So if you want to play a card, it's either the nationalism or xenophobia card, but not the race card.

You do realize that 'Chinese' is not a race, right?

Welcome to HN where any China-related topic is treated with the same hostility.
weberc2 12 days ago [flagged]

If this level of "hostility" offends you, please don't read the US-related topics.

Original report: https://www.france24.com/en/20190926-airbus-hit-by-series-of...

Link to the actual source, please. This is a rehash (abhorrent blog spam) of a proper news report.



[flagged]


I don't think China has to invade Europe, they're quite happy buying real estate, businesses and going on vacation there. Governments like Italy and others are happy to bow in front of the Chinese government in exchange for money.

A military invasion would ruin the whole thing.

The same holds for Russia, but to a lesser degree, because they're not as rich as China.

An actual problem in Western European societies is massive immigration from religiously fundamentalist countries. To them Europe and its citizens are just prey. And they're exploiting the current climate of political correctness to avoid criticism. PC is a massive problem for social discourse.


Immigration is not a problem, even in Europe. At current rates, it would take several generations for immigrants to make up half of the population. But at that point, the immigrants' children and grand-children will have assimilated. Just like how immigrants to the USA lost their native language and customs, so too will this generation.

Today, the only thing remaining from the influx of Italians, Irish, and Germans, are a bastardized holiday, canned raviolis, and maybe a few "heritage" festivals. Hell, the USA fought two major wars against Germany despite previously having a large influx of German immigrants.

On the other points, I absolutely agree. It's often cheaper to just buy nations than to deploy your military at take it by force.


>The white men who have been degraded and disowned of their culture, identity, and lands as throngs of foreign legions of "immigrants" are teated better than they, the heirs of the men that created the civilized world we all benefit from while most immigrants and freeloading types revile and fully disrespect what they have yet never earned

As a white man, you lost me completely there. Immigrants are absolutely not treated better than I am anywhere in North America, or in Europe where I've been to date but I'll concede in places where white people are a minority that might not always be true. I haven't given up anything in my life for "foreigners" and I live a very privileged life.

As a white man born into this world, you haven't earned anything any other person just born into this world doesn't have. Just because some white people have accomplished something doesn't give you claim or credit for that. In fact, you are reviling (immigration, foreigners) the very thing that gave rise to the west as it is now.

The history of the white man is filled with taking ideas and solutions from other cultures and races they encounter and building on them, essentially the same thing you're accusing China of doing unfairly.

The concept that the west culture and existence is solely due to "white people" is false and largely has been false from the start. Slavery, abuse, theft and centuries of using and discarding anything and anyone we can to get ahead is a significant part of our history (that includes abusing/slavery of other white men, its not solely a race issue, its a power/money issue).

Immigrants, especially second and third generation immigrants often have stronger ties to the country the immigrated to and are more willing to fight for it and die for it as numerous studies ahve shown.

The concept that immigrants are freeloaders is false, and easily disproved by any reading of the actual historical development of the western world. The US is a good example, it's made up almost completely of immigrants and their descendants and much of its early success is due to one group of immigrants abusing and using others (Black, Chinese and Irish slave labor/indenturehood among numerous other examples).

The most likely people to fight for the west and defend its existence are those people you're putting down in your wildly inaccurate and fear-mongering post.


> Immigrants are absolutely not treated better than I am anywhere in North America, or in Europe where I've been to date but I'll concede in places where white people are a minority that might not always be true.

Again, isn't the consensus that the percentage of white students in elite colleges would go up from something like 66% to 75% if only raw ability were considered? In other words you're getting shafted for being white, in a mostly white country.

> Just because some white people have accomplished something doesn't give you claim or credit for that.

Aren't you gaslighting him? It's called kin selection and it doesn't stop at the parents, it expands outwards further and further with no magical border.


>Again, isn't the consensus that the percentage of white students in elite colleges would go up from something like 66% to 75% if only raw ability were considered? In other words you're getting shafted for being white, in a mostly white country.

Asians are more impacted than this than Caucasians. Claiming its 'raw ability' is also completely false, its developed education and largely based on socio-economics not race.

>Aren't you gaslighting him? It's called kin selection and it doesn't stop at the parents, it expands outwards further and further with no magical border.

Kin selection has nothing to do it. Just because some white people have accomplished things doesn't mean he deserves any credit for any of it.

To assume otherwise is absurd, unscientific and hilariously stupid.


> As a white man, you lost me completely there.

I'm not the OP but you've lost me as well. What part of what you're saying is supported by data? Any data?

> In fact, you are reviling (immigration, foreigners) the very thing that gave rise to the west as it is now.

What gave rise to the USA were productive people creating a country for themselves and preventing other people from immigrating there. Immigration was mostly limited to other anglos.

One of the most remarkable things happened in Africa, I forget exactly where, where an unbelievably high number of 160IQ+, 170IQ+ school children were found whose parents had immigrated from Britain.

What you had in the USA were a high concentration of these outlier geniuses and other very productive people that made a new nation for themselves.

> The history of the white man is filled with taking ideas and solutions from other cultures and races they encounter and building on them, essentially the same thing you're accusing China of doing unfairly.

Is this not a ridiculous statement? The history of the "white man" is filled with producing outlier geniuses that are costly to those around them but benefit the group. These geniuses go their own way, they don't take ideas from others. You don't see these kinds of geniuses elsewhere, for reasons I forget.

> Slavery, abuse, theft and centuries of using and discarding anything and anyone we can to get ahead is a significant part of our history

I'm fairly certain that the consensus among those that have looked into slavery in the USA is that it was nothing but detrimental, slowing down progress. The slaves were well fed and made to work little. Children have been made to replicate the daily work of a slave in the USA and have done it with no issue.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to you to learn that the very people that ended slavery are the same people that treated their slaves well.

The slaves that freed themselves before slavery ended integrated surprisingly well, much better than the rest that gained their freedom later. Maybe an IQ difference between those capable of setting themselves free and those not.

> Immigrants, especially second and third generation immigrants often have stronger ties to the country the immigrated to and are more willing to fight for it and die for it as numerous studies ahve shown.

It's a recognized problem in Europe that second and third generation immigrants from the middle eastern countries are integrating worse than their parents.

I don't know man, everything you're saying just seems made up from the spot.


>I'm not the OP but you've lost me as well. What part of what you're saying is supported by data? Any data?

I was pretty clear on what was opinion/experience based and what wasn't. If you can't understand that I can't help you.

>What gave rise to the USA were productive people creating a country for themselves and preventing other people from immigrating there. Immigration was mostly limited to other anglos.

Immigration restrictions are a new thing in the last hundred years or so, people of all kinds immigrated here. Those "productive" people you refer to largely had their success built on abusing and using the minorities that did immigrate here as well.

>One of the most remarkable things happened in Africa, I forget exactly where, where an unbelievably high number of 160IQ+, 170IQ+ school children were found whose parents had immigrated from Britain.

Sources for that.

>What you had in the USA were a high concentration of these outlier geniuses and other very productive people that made a new nation for themselves.

The USA is actually not even in the top 10 based on Mensa, and from what evidence I can find never has had a high concentration of outlier geniuses.

>Is this not a ridiculous statement?

No, its a simple truth.

>The history of the "white man" is filled with producing outlier geniuses that are costly to those around them but benefit the group. These geniuses go their own way, they don't take ideas from others. You don't see these kinds of geniuses elsewhere, for reasons I forget.

You're making hilarious claims, you're gonna have to provide some source for that. History books have nothing backing your world view here, its based on a fairy tale as far as I'm concerned based on what history I do know.

>I'm fairly certain that the consensus among those that have looked into slavery in the USA is that it was nothing but detrimental, slowing down progress. The slaves were well fed and made to work little. Children have been made to replicate the daily work of a slave in the USA and have done it with no issue.

This is completely false and bullshit slavery apologists often repeat.

>It shouldn't come as a surprise to you to learn that the very people that ended slavery are the same people that treated their slaves well.

This is also false

>The slaves that freed themselves before slavery ended integrated surprisingly well, much better than the rest that gained their freedom later. Maybe an IQ difference between those capable of setting themselves free and those not.

Again, mostly BS. There was a significant difference between north and south and much had to do with what scarce education they achieved or were able to get.

>It's a recognized problem in Europe that second and third generation immigrants from the middle eastern countries are integrating worse than their parents.

This is false. its a mass media talking point that's wrong. Look into the studies.

>I don't know man, everything you're saying just seems made up from the spot.

Most of it was opinion, some of it was relating history as we know it. Just about everything you posted is incorrect, outright misleading and much of it sourced or the lies initially came from slavery apologists and those that refuse to actually look at history and accept that with the good a lot of bad also happened.


What do you think of the Franco-Ottoman Alliance[1], when France and the Ottoman Empire were allies? This occurred when England was trying to "raid and invade" other parts of Europe. [2] It's almost as if an us-them dichotomy simplifies our understanding and obscures the real entropy found in truth.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Ottoman_alliance [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_War_of_1542%E2%80%9315...


Tough questions seldom pondered.

You are actually making a lot of sense. I upvoted you because I don't want you to fade away into silence. We need to hear all points of view and strive for truth even when it is a hard one.

Why should people die because someone is stealing some IP "property", it is probably that in 100 years IP property will be seen similar to slavery. I won't debate IP laws here.

Seems like Boeing is getting pretty desperate to fix their MCAS issues.

Without wanting to dive into the politics cesspool, In general I'd favour sharing IPR on RAND terms, rather than locking it up as special secret sauce. I think if Comac is struggling to learn how to make safe aircraft, then helping them is "build a better world" more than fighting them at the firewall.

I used to complain so bitterly that the computers I had for AI research work, despite being a flavor of Linux, had no access to any sort of networking, making the installation of basic packages a pain.

It turns out the safest way, barring spies who willingly steal, is provide no entry/exit points for data. For smaller organizations or small divisions that's feasible, but super hard to maintain at larger divisions.


Having seen what a competent Red team can do that is not much of a barrier if information its valuable enough

That's one way to get security... not a very practical one though.

So, it used to be that saying anything remotely skeptical about Bitcoin was the way to get downvoted on HN. Nowadays, it seems that saying anything negative about China is how.

Although, in the field of aeronautics, it is not like China is the only "state sponsor" to engage in espionage, or that this is anything new for any of the major powers.


It's not remotely close to true that negative comments about China are "the way to get downvoted on HN". On the contrary, HN's demographic, while quite international, is almost all Western, and for better or worse it follows geopolitical trends and the leads set by government and media.

When we have to ask commenters not to take HN threads into nationalistic flamewar, it's usually because of generic nationalistic rhetoric against China. This happens often enough that we routinely get accused of being pro-Chinese. We're not, of course. We're against nationalistic flamewar, regardless of who is flaming or being flamed, because it's against HN's rules and destructive of the spirit of this site.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


I appreciate HN doing their best to keep discussion in a productive zone and out of flamewar territory. I enjoy HN a lot, which is very different from most sites that allow comments.

However, comparing my parent comment here to the average for most comments I make, or comparing it to comments related to Russia, France, Germany, or any other major nation-state, I have to say that the empirical evidence does not support your statement. :)

But, again, I appreciate HN discussions and the efforts to keep it a productive discussion.

avocado4 12 days ago [flagged]

HN / Reddit votes are very easy to manipulate with State-backed funding. Best to ignore the "consensus" on online boards and make one's own decision based on available evidence.

Please don't post insinuations about astroturfing without evidence. It poisons the well, and the overwhelming majority of such comments are based on imagination only.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...


Honest guestion: I understand that unfounded allegations of astroturfing are not helpful. But does HN have systems in place to avoid malicious manipulation like this?

We have lots of anti-abuse measures, and they catch things. But of course we don't know what we don't know.

The issue with unfounded accusations is not that real abuse doesn't exist (it does); it's that internet users are overwhelmingly too quick to believe that they're seeing organized manipulation when really all they're seeing is something they dislike or find annoying. Such accusations need to clear some bar or they flood the forum and do more damage to it than the abuses they're imagining would do.

https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...


You want to try writing something vaguely anti-USA, that's when they really come out to get you.

I hear good things about this MCAS thing Boeing is doing. Maybe it's worth copying.

Maybe you're being sarcastic, but this seems unrelated. The attacks are on internal networks with an attempt to gain unauthorised access to technical data; it seems to have nothing directly to do with attacks on the software that directly flies the plane.

No, but perhaps it is coming from the same organization that thought MCAS was a great idea. After all, such an organization obviously has severe deficiencies with basic systems engineering; what other deficiencies might it have?

That’s a cheap shot and a risible one at that. The hierarchy of decision-makers who designed and implemented MCAS and the hierarchy of decision-makers who handle the information security at Boeing is (as I’m sure you’re well aware) so far removed and unrelated to each-other as to be essentially distinct. Conway’s Law doesn’t really apply here.

Exactly. A rogue bunch of MCAS engineers hacking Airbus is not based on any kind of reality.

The article clearly states China was believed to be responsible.

...what does Chinese gain from these attacks then? International infamy?

Valuable aviation intel to use for their young, but growing, airline industry.

Makes me wonder if it'd be simpler to gain this stuff the old-fashioned spy way: bribe or blackmail someone working in one of those supplier companies.

If Pierre in Toulouse is desperate to hide his affair with the Chinese girl he met a week ago in the bar...


Oh, that certainly happens as well. It's just harder to pull off, because physical security at these companies (even physical computer security) is well ahead of network security.

Or the other way: just buy it outright. Either buy from the supplier companies, or buy existing stuff used and reverse-engineer it.

This isn't denial of service attack, this is unauthorized access to steal technical data.

I wouldn't call it cyberattack then; rather it should be cyberespionage

Stealing blueprints and other technical data so they can make their own knockoffs of western aircraft, as they have with the J-20 (F-22 knockoff) and J-31 (F-35 knockoff).

Both of you provide some sources or anything more than “I could imagine X...because Boeing has been in the news lately.”.

My first question would be if the Chinese hacker is American looking or if he is named Boejing Wang or something like that.

Jokes aside there are a huge number of mobile devices with saved credentials for exclusive business VPN access and a lot of businesses restrict access to resources based on the source of requests, which can be the corporate network of a supplier. This is often done to enable some forms of electronic data interchange. Putting these services in another network would probably have helped.

It would be my guess that the hacker gained access through a privileged network with stolen VPN credentials. There would be countless ways to achieve that.

Perhaps pickpockets should just sell the stolen phones to relevant companies.


I am not following your borderline racist comment about a name. Why do you assume stolen credentials? Low hanging fruit could be the entry point, but advanced attacks are common with state actors so this is highly assumptive and brings nothing to the discussion.



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