China is looking to lift American research on coronavirus vaccines and treatments through cyberattacks, the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned health care, pharmaceutical, and research sectors working on COVID-19 response.

“China’s efforts to target these sectors pose a significant threat to our nation’s response to COVID-19,” the alert said. 

The bureau is investigating the activities of PRC-affiliated cyber actors as well as “non-traditional collectors” targeting and compromising U.S. organizations doing research related to the coronavirus. “These actors have been observed attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research,” the FBI said in a separate release, noting that “the potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options.”

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