US authorities warned Wednesday that Chinese hackers were attempting to steal coronavirus data on treatments and vaccines, adding fuel to Washington’s war with Beijing over the pandemic.
The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said organizations researching COVID-19 were at risk of “targeting and network compromise by the People’s Republic of China.”
They warned that Chinese government-affiliated cyber actors and others were attempting to obtain “valuable intellectual property and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research.”
“China’s efforts to target these sectors pose a significant threat to our nation’s response to COVID-19,” they said.
The two organizations gave no evidence or examples to support the allegation.
President Donald Trump has accused China of hiding the origins of the virus and not cooperating with the United States and other countries in efforts to research and fight the disease.
Asked on Monday about reports that the US believed Chinese hackers were targeting US vaccine research, Trump replied: “What else is new with China? What else is new? Tell me. I’m not happy with China.” -Spies, academics targeted
The warning Wednesday also underscored that Washington believes China has continued broad efforts to obtain US commercial and technology secrets by any means possible, under President Xi Jinping’s drive to make his country a technological leader this decade.