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article imageU.S. DOJ accuses China on stealing COVID-19 trade secrets Special

By Tim Sandle     Jul 24, 2020 in Business
The escalating war of words between China and the U.S. took a different tangent, crossing over to COVID-19 related matters. This was triggered by the U.S. government in relation to a specific area of coronavirus measures.
The U.S. Department of Justice's Intelligence and Security Committee has recently accused two Chinese state actors of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of trade secrets, intellectual property, and other valuable business information from companies across the world (as reported by the BBC). More specifically, and will relevance to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. administration has levelled the charge against China of purposefully targeting firms developing a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
According to The Guardian, China’s UK ambassador has refuted these findings as ‘groundless claims’, despite the two Chinese nationals being indicted for wide range of alleged hacking attempts.
Commenting on this new revelation for Digital Journal is Ben Read, who is the Senior Manager of Analysis at the technology firm Mandiant Threat Intelligence. Some of the information about China's apparent involvement in this latest act of espionage has come from Mandiant. The firm has identified with regards to COVID-19 research targeting, please let me know.
Read tells Digital Journal that the new indictment "shows the extremely high value that all governments, including China, place on COVID-19 related information. It is a fundamental threat to all governments around the world and we expect information relating to treatments and vaccines to be targeted by multiple cyber espionage sponsors."
In terms of what his company has unveiled, Read says: "Mandiant has tracked this group since at least 2013, the targeting and description of their TTPs is consistent with what we have observed. "
Looking deeper at the specifics, Read explains: "The Chinese government has long relied on contractors to conduct cyber intrusions. Using these freelancers allows the government to access a wider array of talent, while also providing some deniability in conducting these operations."
Furthermore, the analyst notes: "The pattern described in the indictment where the contractors conducted some operations on behalf of their government sponsors, while others were for their own profit is consistent with what we have seen from other China-nexus groups such as APT41.” In other words, this cyber-incident is the latest in a long-line of state sponsored corporate spying and data theft activity.
More about trade wars, Trade, trade dispute, Intellectual property
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