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Report: Vaccine Developer Moderna Alerted to Suspected Reconnaissance Activities by China-Backed Hackers

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Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotech company working on a coronavirus vaccine, had been a target of hackers with links to the Chinese government, Reuters reported Friday. A U.S. security official said threat actors targeted the company in an effort to steal research data on its vaccine candidate.

Moderna told the publication that the company had been in communication with the FBI and was informed of suspected “information reconnaissance activities” by a group of hackers cited in a Department of Justice (DOJ) indictment of two Chinese nationals who allegedly targeted three U.S. companies involved in COVID-19 vaccine research.

“Moderna 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,” said Ray Jordan, a spokesman for the company.

China dismissed the allegation on Friday that attackers with links to the East Asian country’s government had targeted the biotech company.