US accuses China of Hacking virus data
The US administration has the intention to issue a warning that hackers tied to Bejing are attempting to pilfer key data from US researchers working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, a person familiar with the matter told the press.
Such a warning is expected to significantly increase tensions between the US and China.
The alert, from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is expected to be issued within days and to accuse China of stealing from US organisations both intellectual property and critical health data related to COVID-19 vaccine through hacking.
China has historically denied any allegation that it engages in cyberattacks to steal intellectual property.
The Whitehouse has repeatedly accused Bejing of stealing billions of dollars annually in intellectual property from western companies.
It is not clear what evidence, if any, the planned US alert would contain.
The alert follow other allegations from Trump that China is to blame for the outbreak.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has asserted without citing evidence that it came from a Chinese lab in the area. Pompeo later specified there was evidence only that the virus came from the vicinity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
US intelligence agencies confirmed last month it is investigating the origin of the virus as it related to the laboratory in Wuhan, but said it agreed with the broad scientific consensus that “the Covid-19 virus wasn’t manmade or genetically modified.”