The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a public service announcement today warning organizations researching COVID-19 of likely targeting and network compromise by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Health care, pharmaceutical, and research sectors working on COVID-19 response should all be aware they are the prime targets of this activity and take the necessary steps to protect their systems.
China’s efforts to target these sectors pose a significant threat to our nation’s response to COVID-19. This announcement is intended to raise awareness for research institutions and the American public and provide resources and guidance for those who may be targeted.
The FBI requests organizations who suspect suspicious activity contact their local FBI field office. CISA is asking for all organizations supporting the COVID-19 response to partner with the agency in order to help protect these critical response efforts.
Additional technical details regarding the threat will be released in the coming days. CISA and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Agency released a similar alert earlier this month warning of malicious actors targeting COVID-19 response organizations using a tactic of password spraying.