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  •  A medical technologist works to conduct a test for COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine prototype at a laboratory. May 8, 2020.

    A medical technologist works to conduct a test for COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine prototype at a laboratory. May 8, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 May 2020
Opinion

U.S. security agencies say Beijing-backed 'hackers' are trying to steal data on the covid-19 vaccine through cyber attacks.

China's Foreign Ministry called the allegations made by the United States defamatory, saying that Beijing-backed hackers are trying to steal data related to advances in the new coronavirus vaccine from the country.

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"China expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition to such defamation," ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a press conference.

The U.S. "has conducted the world's largest cyber-robbery operations," he said.

He also stressed that such accusations are meaningless, as Beijing has significant achievements of its own in research to deal with the disease.

On  Wednesday, the FBI and the U.S. Agency for Infrastructure Security and Cyber Security (CISA) issued an official warning about the alleged attempt by Chinese-backed hackers to steal their data.

For this reason, they urged U.S. entities conducting research in these areas to take a number of precautions to prevent theft of coronavirus-related materials. 

However, the security agencies did not specify details about the identities of the alleged hackers or their targets.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said his country had taken measures against cyber-piracy and condemned any computer attack that might hinder the global fight against the pandemic.

For its part, the Chinese Embassy in Washington called the accusations against the Asean country "lies."

It said the FBI's warning is unfounded and "undermines ongoing international cooperation against the pandemic."

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