After FBI warned US organisations of China-linked hacking into COVID-19 research, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned the incident and also called on the Asian superpower to stop the “malicious activity”. China and the US have indulged in a fiery exchange of words over the coronavirus outbreak and have accused each other of not effectively responding to the global health crisis. Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued the statement that China-affiliated hackers are breaching research of COVID-19 disease in the US.
In the wake of that announcement, Pompeo not only criticised China for refusing to share the entire data of coronavirus infections but also called the hacking as an extension of it “counterproductive measures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic”. According to the Department of State, People’s Republic of China-linked activities in the cyberspace is stealing of intellectual property owned by the US related to COVID-19 treatments, vaccines and cases. FBI, CISA had jointly said that the “potential theft” of such critical information has ‘jeopardised’ the delivery of secure, effective treatment of COVID-19 disease.
Instead PRC-affiliated actors are trying to steal COVID-related research from the United States. We condemn these attempts and call on the PRC to cease this malicious activity. https://t.co/q2jTm4xrpJ— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 14, 2020
In a separate public service announcement, FBI and CISA also warned all organizations that have started researching the highly contagious disease of likely being compromised by China. Urging the US firms to take “necessary steps to protect their systems, the government has said that the organisations should be aware they are the “prime targets” of the China-linked activity. It even called the entire incident a “significant threat”.
The statement said, “China’s efforts to target these sectors pose a significant threat to our nation’s response to COVID-19. This announcement is intended to raise awareness for research institutions and the American public and provide resources and guidance for those who may be targeted.”