According to German newspaper "Bild am Sonntag," evidence linking an attack on European defense group EADS from American soil has surfaced. The news outlet claims it is the first of its kind.
"Bild am Sonntag" said on Sunday that it inspected a "confidential letter" provided by Germany's foreign intelligence services - the BND - to the domestic intelligence agency - the Verfassungsschutz - outlining a "suspected" attack on European arms manufacturer European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) from American soil.
"From a foreign intelligence service, the BND received information about a suspected data tap at EADS Germany," the letter is reported to have said.
The German news outlet claimed that it was the first shred of evidence of a 2011 cyberattack on the French-German manufacturer, headquartered in Munich, since the onset of collaboration between the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the BND.
"Bild am Sonntag" reported that on November 2, 2011, hackers planted a spy program on the computers of EADS, during which 5,116 "connections" were said to have been found between the company's computers and the US-based "aggressors."
Germany's Protection of the Constitution committee informed EADS - now known as the Airbus Group - that their networks may have been compromised by the apparent attack, which had been initially traced to a server in Los Angeles.
The German periodical added that EADS has been a target of US intelligence services "for years."
However, the news outlet said it was still "unclear" who was behind the attack in 2011 and which foreign intelligence services warned the German spy agency.
The report comes amid a backdrop of high-profile leaks published by whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks, detailing collaborative efforts between the BND and NSA as well as the latter's surveillance of European officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
ls/jr (Bild, dpa, AFP, Reuters)