Moderna Inc researching Covid-19 vaccine targeted by Chinese hackers: US official

The indictment states the Chinese hackers “conducted reconnaissance” against the computer network of a Massachusetts biotech firm known to be working on a coronavirus vaccine in January.

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Chinese government-linked hackers targeted biotech company Moderna Inc, a leading US-based coronavirus vaccine research developer, earlier this year in a bid to steal valuable data, according to a US security official tracking Chinese hacking activity.

Last week, the US Justice Department made public an indictment of two Chinese nationals accused of spying on the United States, including three unnamed US-based targets involved in medical research to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The indictment states the Chinese hackers “conducted reconnaissance” against the computer network of a Massachusetts biotech firm known to be working on a coronavirus vaccine in January.

Reconnaissance activities can include a wide range of actions, including probing public websites for vulnerabilities to scouting out important accounts after entering a network, cybersecurity experts say.“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,” spokesman Ray Jordan said, declining to provide further detail.

 

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