The US has seen foreign spy agencies carry out reconnaissance of research into a coronavirus vaccine, a senior US intelligence official has told the BBC.
Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said the US government had warned medical research organisations of the risks. But he would not say whether there had been confirmed cases of stolen data.
UK security sources says they have also seen similar activity.
In mid-April, an FBI official said there had been “some intrusions” into institutions working on Covid-related research.
Deputy assistant director Tonya Ugoretz said bio-medical data had long been “a priority target for cyber-espionage” and organisations publicly linked to work on the virus had become a “mark”.
Later in the month, the US assistant attorney general for national security, John Demers, said it would be “beyond absurd” to think China would not be interested in such details.