The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation and cybersecurity experts believe that Chinese hackers are attempting to steal research on developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are intending to release a warning about the Chinese hacking as the world governments and private companies race to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.
US Security Agencies Accuse China of Hacking Vaccine Research
The hackers are also trying to target information and intellectual property on treatments and testing mechanisms for the Covid-19. The US officials have accused that the hackers are associated with the Chinese government. The official warning is expected to come in a few days. Back in China, Foreign Affairs ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian denied the allegation, stating China firmly opposes all cyber threats.
Zhao also told that “We are leading the world in Covid-19 treatment and vaccine research. It is immoral to target China with rumours and slanders in the absence of any evidence,”
The warning would join a series of alerts and reports alledging government-backed hackers in North Korea, Iran, Russia and China of malicious activity linked to the pandemic, from pumping out misinformation to targeting workers and scientists. The New York Times analyzed that it could be a prelude to officially-sanctioned counterattacks by US agencies involved in cyber warfare, which also include the Pentagon’s Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.
A week ago, a joint statement from Britain and the US warned of a surge in cyberattacks against health professionals involved in the COVID-19 response by organised criminals “often linked with other state actors.” Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency told that they had discovered large-scale “password spraying” tactics which are utilized by hackers to access accounts through commonly used passwords.