European aerospace giant Airbus has been hit by a series of attacks by hackers who targeted its suppliers in their search for commercial secrets, security sources told AFP, adding they suspected a China link.

There have been four major attacks on Airbus in the last 12 months, according to two security sources involved in investigating the hacking.

The group has long been considered a tempting target because of the cutting-edge technologies that have made it one of the world’s biggest commercial plane manufacturers, as well as a strategic military supplier.