According to an exclusive from Reuters, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is behind the recent attempt to steal data from the U.S. biotech company Moderna. The CCP is after research on the CCP Virus vaccine a U.S. security official claimed.
A CCP representative has denied the allegations.
As reported on July 22, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted two Chinese nationals for espionage in the United States. According to the investigation their long criminal activity targeted three labs in the United States one of them based in Massachusetts, where Moderna’s headquarters is located.
As early as January the company announced publicly its race to develop a vaccine for the CCP Virus and has now confirmed it was made aware by the FBI of the potential threat.
Ray Jordan the company spokesman said, “Moderna remains highly vigilant to potential cybersecurity threats, maintaining an internal team, external support services and good working relationships with outside authorities to continuously assess threats and protect our valuable information.”
Jordan did not make it clear whether data was actually stolen.
The Trump administration is supporting Moderna’s effort to find a cure for the CCP Virus and has given almost half a billion in funds to the company. It is expected that next month, trials of up 30,000 people will begin, a Reuters report said.
The other two labs affected by the cyberattack are based in Maryland and California. The two companies are Gilead Sciences Inc. from Maryland and Novavax Inc. in California.
Experts said the CCP has long relied on contractors for its cyberespionage activities presumably to avoid direct responsibility if caught.
Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said about the accusations, “We absolutely do not nor need to engage in theft to achieve this leading position.”
However, China-backed cyberespionage has been extensively documented by the FBI and the most recent example is the closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas, which a U.S. official stated was to protect American intellectual property.