FBI, DHS accuse Chinese hackers of targeting US research into COVID-19 – TechCrunch
In a rare joint public statement, the FBI and Homeland Security CISA’s cybersecurity advisory unit accused top Chinese hackers of attempting to steal U.S. research related to the strain of coronavirus, known as COVID- 19.
the declaration, published today, said that Chinese hackers “have been observed attempting to illegally identify and obtain valuable intellectual property and public health data related to vaccines, treatments and tests from networks and staff associated with COVID-19-related research, ”one reads.
“China’s efforts to target these sectors pose a significant threat to our country’s response to COVID-19,” it read. Neither the FBI nor the CISA provided evidence for their claims, but said they would release technical details “in the next few days.”
Joint statement follows similar announcement between US and UK authorities Last week, who warned that hackers use password spraying – a common attack that uses recycled or default passwords to break into systems – on health and medical research organizations “that provide services and medical support supplies in a concerted effort to prevent incidents and allow them to focus on their response to COVID-19. ”
Research companies and pharmaceutical giants have rushed to find vaccine for COVID-19 strain, experts say is probably the only way that strict foreclosure restrictions can be lifted across the world.
To date, there have been more than 4.2 million confirmed cases since its discovery in December.
US authorities have long accused China of hacking into US systems. Since 2018, prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice have laid charges against several hackers, who are said to work for the Chinese government, for the 2015 anthem violation, dozen of tech giants and government organizations and, more recently, Chinese military pirates which stole nearly 150 million records from credit giant Equifax.
Beijing has repeatedly denied the hacking accusations.
But China is not the only government accused of using its offensive cybernetic prowess to steal coronavirus research. Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Iran-backed hackers have targeted U.S. drug maker Gilead, whose antiviral drug remdesivir is the only treatment that has so far been shown to help patients with COVID-19.