Chinese hacker outfit “Chimera” had access to NXP’s internal network for a little over two years, from late 2017 to early 2020, NRC reports (link in Dutch). During this period, “large amounts” of sensitive data have been transferred without authorization, although it’s not clear what kind of IP, chip designs and software has been stolen. NXP has reported the breach in several annual reports, stating that it didn’t expect it to have a material effect on company operations.
The breach came to light in 2020 after the discovery of a similar attack on the airliner Transavia. While investigating, security experts from Fox-IT discovered that connections were being made from NXP IP addresses. Soon the experts assisted the Eindhoven-headquartered chipmaker to clean up the mess as well. The Transavia hack, in which personal data was stolen, was publicly disclosed at the time. NXP chose to keep a lid on it, although Fox-IT mentioned the involvement of “a company in the semiconductor industry in Europe” in a blog post detailing the attacks.