For months, U.S. officials have been warning about a spike in cyberattacks during the coronavirus pandemic, but they’ve stopped short of pointing fingers at any one country.
Now, as the all-out global race for a coronavirus vaccine accelerates and hackers home in on related scientific research, U.S. officials are preparing to single out a long-standing cyber adversary: China.
In a joint warning slated for the coming days, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security reportedly plan to publicly accuse China of seeking to pilfer U.S. research related to coronavirus vaccines, treatments and tests.
Tab Bradshaw, CEO of Redpoint Cybersecurity and a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s advanced information sharing working group, confirmed the planned warning in an interview Monday.
“I think it’s what should be happening,” Bradshaw told VOA. “It’s a political move to call out the Chinese Communist government and to state to the world that they’re actively trying to steal U.S. technology.”
The FBI did not have a comment. DHS did not respond to a request for comment.
The U.S. has long branded China along with Russia, North Korea and Iran as a major source of cyberattacks, accusing Beijing of pilfering U.S. intellectual property in a bid to gain a competitive edge over the United States.