Hackers backed by the Chinese government attempted to steal coronavirus vaccination data from US-based biotech company, Moderna Inc., a U.S. security official tracking Chinese hacking revealed in an exclusive Reuters report Friday.
China pushed back on this accusation and said, “Such allegations are pure slander.”
“Recently so-called sources from the US government have been accusing China of hacking to steal technology and data of U.S. vaccine research, but there has been no evidence whatsoever,” Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in a press conference Friday.
The Justice Department (DOJ) indicted two Chinese nationals working for the Chinese intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), last week for alleged hacking U.S. and international systems.
But Moderna, who reportedly announced their COVID-19 vaccine candidacy in January, were contacted by the FBI and made aware of the suspected hacking, related to the indictment last week, according to Reuter’s report.
Moderna could not be immediately reached for comment.
The U.S. government has reportedly given Moderna nearly half a billion in funding to support their coronavirus research, making them one of the leading contenders in the U.S. and globally in finding a vaccine for the virus that has infected over 17 million and killed more than 677,000 people.