FBI and DHS Sound Alarm on Possible Chinese Hacking of COVID-19 Research Organizations

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Chinese hackers have been targeting medical research from the U.S. for a “very long time,” added James Carder, chief security officer and vice president of cybersecurity vendor LogRhythm Labs. “The U.S. does the research and development work, then hackers steal it to replicate for potential use and for a profit,” he said.

But the hacking of proprietary vaccine research and other medical research raises bigger questions, he added. “As vaccines help the greater good and keep humans safe from illnesses, we should evaluate if it matters that the information is stolen,” Carder said.

Carder suggested that one response to such hacking attempts could be multination research partnerships, including the U.S. and China. “This pandemic is global and impacts us both, so we should leverage as much expertise and research as possible,” he said. “There is a high likelihood that their hackers would be successful when stealing information related to vaccine research, as their track record shows. It would be wise to partner together and provide the information upfront.”

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