Tue, 27 Oct 2020

Washington [US], September 25 (ANI): Calling China as the 'greatest counterintelligence threat' to the United States, FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday (local time) said that the Chinese hackers are continuing to target the US firms involved in COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and testing technology.

While testifying to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee during a hearing on threats to the US, The Hill quoted Wray as saying, "We are seeing very aggressive activity by the Chinese, and in some cases by others, to target our COVID-related research, whether it's vaccines, treatments, testing technology, etc.""Sometimes, without being too descriptive in an open setting, we can almost track a news report from some company or research institution that is announcing or revealing some progress ... and then almost within days we will see cyber targetting that ties back to Chinese actors focusing on those institutions," he said.

Stressing on the ways the Chinese were targetting the US companies, the FBI Director said, "Rather than innovate themselves, they are trying to essentially jump to the front of the line by stealing information from others."The Hill further reported Wray as emphasising that the counterintelligence threat posed by Chinese targetting the US companies was a major issue for the agency, testifying that the FBI was pursuing more than 2,000 active investigations tied to Chinese government activities and that economic espionage investigations tied to China had increased 1,300 percent in the past decade.

"They are targeting not just American companies, American research institutions, but also similar institutions among some of our closest allies, and targeting PII, personally identifiable information of Americans," Wray testified.

"Chinese hackers have essentially stolen the PII of about half the adult population of the United States," he added. (ANI)

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