Sophisticated espionage is apparently getting behind the scenes to get information on the top coronavirus vaccine candidates.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that hackers linked to the Chinese government had targeted Moderna (NASDAQ: mRNA). Reuters cited an unnamed “US security officer” as its source. Modern is considered by many observers to be the most promising vaccine candidate at this time, mRNA 1273.
Modern confirmed to Reuters that earlier this year, the FBI reported possible “information reconnaissance activities” by a group of Chinese hackers. These activities include a series of espionage activities, which include checking online networks for vulnerabilities. It is unclear how successful they have been in their efforts.
Apparently, these hackers include two unnamed Chinese nationals who were accused of espionage in the US last week, with three companies targeted – again, anonymous – involved in coronovirus research. One of the companies is a Massachusetts-headquartered biotech, which fits Modern’s profile.
Modern spokesman Ray Jordan told Reuters that his company is “highly alert to potential cyber security threats, continually assessing threats to internal teams, external support services and good working relationships with external officials and our valuable information To protect. “
The source of the article did not provide much information about the alleged hacking. The Chinese government has not yet commented on the report.
The modern MNA continues with the relatively rapid development of 1273, which uses messenger RNA to produce a response from the body’s immune system. The vaccine candidate entered its Phase 3 clinical trial on Monday.
Although a host of coronovirus vaccine candidates are in development, none have been approved for use.