The F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security are reportedly preparing to issue an accusation that China’s most skilled hackers and spies are working to steal vaccine and treatment research from America to develop vaccines and treatments for the Coronavirus.
A draft of the forthcoming public warning, which officials say is likely to be issued in the days to come, says China is seeking “valuable intellectual property and public health data through illicit means related to vaccines, treatments and testing,” New York Times reports.
It focuses on cybertheft and action by “nontraditional actors,” a euphemism for researchers and students the Trump administration says are being activated to steal data from inside academic and private laboratories.
The Trump’s administration’s decision to issue a specific accusation against China’s state-run hacking teams, current and former officials said, is part of a broader deterrent strategy that also involves United States Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.
Under legal authorities that President Trump issued nearly two years ago, they have the power to bore deeply into Chinese and other networks to mount proportional counterattacks.