The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accused Chinese hackers of attempting to steal research and development documents relating to coronavirus vaccines.
A warning for government agencies and private firms who are racing to develop a vaccine for the virus is planned to be released jointly by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in the United States as they allege Chinese hackers are acting on behalf of the government in Beijing.
An official warning could come within days as the US government may plan officially-sanctioned counterattacks by US agencies.
Currently, the US has official warnings related to cyber hackers and government-backed activists from a range of nations including Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China.
These include warnings about activity related to the coronavirus and fake news articles targeting American citizens.
A Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, flatly denied the allegations and said that China is opposed to all cyber attacks. He said:
“We are leading the world in covid-19 treatment and vaccine research. It is immoral to target China with rumors and slanders in the absence of any evidence.”
US President, Donald Trump, was also asked about the alleged cyberattacks from China and while not confirming the information, he suggested China is under strict surveillance. The President said:
“What else is new with China? What else is new? Tell me. I’m not happy with China. We’re watching it very closely.”