It has been recently reported in German media that BMW along with other car manufacturers were recently targeted by a hacker group. The group, otherwise known as Ocean Lotus used a backdoor into BMW’s systems, for what seems to be a potential scan for trade secrets in a typical industrial espionage scheme.

According to a report published by German media outlet Bayerisher Rundfunk, the BMW security team found out about the breach early on, as far back as April. Their decision was to let the hackers browse through their data, without allowing them to reach truly valuable and sensitive information. This move was aimed at finding out more about the group themselves and what they were actually looking for.

Ocean Lotus is known to have ties to the Vietnamese government and it seems like this isn’t the first time they did this. Toyota reported a similar situation. The Japanese manufacturer’s global network was affected and apparently the hackers managed to steal 3.1 million customer records back then. As for the BMW breach, it seems like the main goal was to steal tech in a bid to help Vietnam’s own home-grown brand VinFast.

That would be a peculiar move though as VinFast works with BMW on a number of topics, the German car maker actually being a provider for the newly released company. However, stranger things have happened and it will be interesting to see how this affects the relationship on the long run.

This move would follow in the footsteps of what China did and is still doing, the Chinese having a long record of similar attempts at stealing tech and valuable info from various companies around the world, not necessarily strictly from the automotive industry.