The United States security authorities on Wednesday 13 May 2020 warned against Chinese cyber hackers who made attempts to steal coronavirus data on treatments and vaccines. Thereby, adding fuel to Washington’s war with Beijing over the pandemic according to AFP reports.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency said organisations researching Coronavirus were at risk of “targeting and network compromise by the People’s Republic of China.”
They security agencies warned that Chinese government-affiliated cyber hackers and others made attempts 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 stated. However, without sustancial evidence.
It is no gain gainsaying that there is supremacy battle between the United State of America and the Peoples Republic of China since the outbreak of Coronavirus in China owning to the allegation of non disclosure of China as at when due.
The virus has killed about 293,000 globally and more than 83,000 in the United States.
President 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.
When Donald Trump was asked on about the 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.”
The warning also noted that Washington believes China’s effort to obtain US commercial and technology secrets by any means possible, under President Xi Jinping’s drive to make his country a technological leader of this decade.
In February the US Justice Department indicted four Chinese army personnel suspected of hacking the massive database of credit rating agency Equifax, giving them the personal data of 145 million Americans.
The US have also charged some academics with crimes relating to same alleged effort including American and Chinese nationals alike.
On Monday the Department of Justice also announced the arrest of University of Arkansas engineering professor Simon Saw-Teong Ang for hiding ties to the Chinese government and Chinese universities while he worked on projects funded by NASA.
The indictment said Ang was secretly part of the Xi-backed Thousand Talents program, which Washington says China uses to collect research from abroad.
Also on Monday Li Xiaojiang, a former professor at Emory University in Atlanta, admitted tax fraud in a case focused on his hidden earnings from China, also as a participant in the Thousand Talents program.
Beijing has however, consistently denied these allegations made by the United States.
“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,” Foreign Affairs ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday.
The FBI warning comes as dozens of companies, institutes and countries around the world are racing against time to develop a suitable vaccines to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Different researches for treatments of COVID-19 are ongoing but, there is no proven cure.
The warning about Chinese hackers includes a series of alerts and reports accusing government-backed cyber operators in Iran, North Korea, Russia and China of malicious activity related to the coronavirus pandemic, from pumping out false news to targeting workers and scientists.
The British National Cyber Security Centre and CISA also jointly attested in the course of last week, that they have detected large-scale “password spraying” That is, hackers are trying to access accounts through commonly used passwords; aimed at healthcare bodies and medical research organisations.