On Thursday, Reuters reported that hackers linked to the Chinese government had targeted Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA). Reuters cited an unnamed “U.S. security official” as its source. Moderna is considered by many observers to have the most promising vaccine candidate at the moment, mRNA 1273.
Moderna confirmed to Reuters that at some point earlier this year, the FBI alerted the company of possible “information reconnaissance activities” by a group of Chinese hackers. These activities cover a range of espionage activities, including the probing of online networks for vulnerabilities. It is not clear how successful they were, if at all, in their endeavors.
Apparently, these hackers include two unnamed Chinese citizens who were indicted last week for spying on the U.S. Among their targets were three companies — again, unnamed — involved in coronavirus research. One of the companies is a Massachusetts-headquartered biotech, which fits Moderna’s profile.
Moderna spokesman Ray Jordan told Reuters that his company “remains highly vigilant to potential cybersecurity threats, maintaining an internal team, external support services, and good working relationships with outside authorities to continuously assess threats and protect our valuable information.”