U.S. Agencies Warn Chinese Hackers Are Targeting Coronavirus Research

A joint statement from the FBI and CISA says Chinese hackers are targeting U.S. coronavirus research labs to obtain valuable intellectual property.
Posted at 6:27 PM, May 13, 2020

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency say Chinese hackers are targeting American labs in attempt to steal research into possible COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

In a joint statement, they said the potential theft of valuable information "jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options."

The statement said, "These actors have been observed 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."

A similar announcement from U.S. and U.K. officials last week warned that hackers are targeting organizations with phishing scams to steal usernames and passwords.

This comes amid increased tension between the U.S. and China regarding the source of the coronavirus outbreak: President Trump has blamed China for failing to alert the world about the virus' dangers sooner.

The statement did not offer any evidence of hacking or plans the U.S. may follow to handle the situation moving forward.

But Chinese hackers have been accused of infiltrating U.S. systems before. The Justice Department recently brought charges against Chinese military hackers for stealing 150 million records from the credit firm Equifax.

Contains footage from CNN.