French aircraft and rocket engine maker Snecma, member of the Safran group, has been attacked by hackers

French rocket engine maker attacked by hackers

French aerospace company Snecma has been attacked by hackers through an Internet Explorer security gap.

The network breach, revealed by an unnamed source speaking to Reuters, was said to have exploited a similar vulnerability in Microsoft’s web browser as the one identified by California-based cyber-security company FireEye last week. According to FireEye, hackers managed to attack a website of the US non-profit organisation Veterans of Foreign Wars using the Internet Explorer vulberability.

Last week, Microsoft advised customers to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, due to security problems with versions 9 and 10.

Snecma refused to comment on the information about its network having been hacked and the extent of the breach is not known

According to the Reuters’ source, the attackers have used malicious software containing code capable of identifying Internet domain names associated with Snecma.

Previously, Israeli cyber-security firm Securlet hinted a French aerospace company had been hacked without naming Snecma. According to Securlet, the attack started on 17 January and might still be in progress. The virus used was said to enable the hackers to steal credentials by infecting devices used by Snecma employees, partners and third-party vendors to remotely access the French company's network.

Though exploiting the same vulnerability, the attack on Snecma is believed to have relied on a different piece of malicious software than the one used to attack the Veterans of Foreign Wars, meaning two different hacking groups could have been involved.

The hacking technique used is similar to that used in many high-profile hacking cases in recent years, including an attack on US defence company Lockheed Martin in 2011.

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