The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa), a division of the homeland security department, issued a rare joint warning.
WASHINGTON D.C. (Agencies) – The FBI has accused China of hacking into computers and stealing research data on the coronavirus. The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a statement on Wednesday, May 13 2020. It said it was investigating digital break-ins at US organizations by China-linked cyber actors.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa), a division of the homeland security department, issued a rare joint warning, in what was billed as a public service announcement, they said “healthcare, pharmaceutical and research sectors working on Covid-19 response should all be aware they are prime targets” of hackers”.
The bureau said the Chinese were “attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property and public health data related to vaccines, treatments and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research.”
The FBI urged research organizations to update software on their computers, strengthen ID checks, and take other security measures. The FBI did not disclose the identities of the hackers.
Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that Chinese cyberattacks and espionage have caused significant harm. It has been reported that a US pharmaceutical company may have been attacked by Iranian hackers. The company developed the drug Remdesivir. The US Department of Health and Human Services has also been the target of cyberattacks.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington criticized the FBI statement and said the US has provided no evidence. The embassy issued a tweet suggesting that the country has no need to steal research data, as it has been playing a leading role in the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
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