Hackers and spies from China, Russia and Iran have launched an intelligence war against American biotech companies and research universities to steal vaccine research, according to officials.
THE intelligence wars over vaccine research have recently intensified with China, Russia and Iran now increasing their efforts to steal American work at both research institutes and companies.
Chinese intelligence hackers recently tried to steal information from the University of North Carolina and other schools in the US, it has been alleged.
Gilead Sciences, Novavax and Moderna were just some of the targeted American biotech companies. It is understood that so far no corporation or university has announced any data thefts from publicly identified hacking efforts, but it is known that some hackers have managed to penetrate a host of network defences.
Intelligence officials said they were made aware of attempts by China to steal data in early February, with hackers using information from the World Health Organisation to guide its spying efforts in the West. Officials familiar with the matter said that the FBI had warned the University of North Carolina in recent weeks about hacking attempts. Cyber security experts were called in to ‘beef up’ systems, it was reported.
A Chinese hacking group apparently tried to break into the computer networks of the school’s epidemiology department but did not infiltrate them. US court documents have also revealed China carried out “multiple intrusions” on a number of other instances.
Besides hacking, China has tried to push into universities in other ways. Some government officials now believe it is trying to take advantage of research partnerships that American universities have forged with Chinese institutions.
There have been Chinese whistle-blower scientists, never to be seen again, records of a cover-up secretly appearing on desks in the US, and, more recently, the mysterious murders in the US of two Chinese students who were allegedly ready to reveal the truth to the world.