There have been media reports that the United States plan to accuse China of attempting to hack research date of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that the U.S. FBI and Department of Homeland Security are preparing to issue a warning that China’s most skilled hackers and spies are working to steal American research in an effort to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus.
A draft of the public warning, which officials say is likely to be issued in the coming days, states that China is seeking valuable intellectual property and public health data related to vaccines, treatments and testing through illicit means.
Officials say Iran and other nations are also looking to steal data and exploit the pandemic with attacks on infrastructure.
The Times cited private security firms as saying that even American allies like South Korea and nations that do not typically stand out for cyber abilities, like Vietnam, have redirected state-run hackers to focus on virus-related information.
It said more than a dozen countries have redeployed military and intelligence hackers to glean whatever they can about other nations’ virus responses.
The report said the decision to issue a specific accusation against China is part of a broader deterrent strategy that also involves the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.
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