US to accuse China of launching cyberattacks to steal Coronavirus research data: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 11, 2020

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) and the Department of Homeland Security are planning to issue a warning against Chinese government-backed hackers attempting to steal data from US researchers working on coronavirus vaccine according to a New York Times report.

The US is preparing to accuse Beijing of deploying skilled hackers to steal American research in a bid to quash US researchers’ efforts to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus, the report said.

The efforts are part of the increasing number of cyberattacks and cyber theft by nations seeking to gain an upper hand in the pandemic, it said.

The warning has not yet been finalized and the authorities can change the plans around its release, it said.

The warning could further increase tensions between the US and China. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had said that Beijing has refuted all claims and has opposed all forms of cyberattack and cracks down on the country.

The news comes amid brewing tensions between the two countries.

Previous US Claims

Previously, US President Donald Trump and US Secretary Mike Pompeo have accused China of a lack of transparency and have claimed that the coronavirus that has caused the Covid-19 outbreak was made in a lab in Wuhan.

The US intelligence community, as well as the World Health Organization, however, have said that according to the evidence so far, the virus appears to be natural in origin rather than man-made or genetically modified according to previous reports.

China has refuted all claims.

The Chinese Government has also recently posted a 30-page article clarifying its stance in regards to accusations maintaining that the country has remained transparent in its response to Covid-19 according to a Reuters report.

Published on May 11, 2020

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