Beijing dismisses accusations of hacking attack on Indian vaccine maker

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 China on Tuesday rejected an allegation by a cyber intelligence firm that a state-backed hacker group was targeting the IT systems of two Indian flu vaccine manufacturers. coronavirus.

Cyfirma told Reuters that the APT10 hacking group, known as Stone Panda, had identified gaps and vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure and supply chain software of Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India (SII), the largest world vaccine manufacturer.

“Without showing any evidence, the relevant party made unfounded speculations, distorted and concocted facts to smear a specific group,” China’s Foreign Ministry told Reuters.

“This behavior is irresponsible and has an ulterior motive. China strongly opposes it,” he added in a written response to questions about the Cyfirma allegations.

Asked to respond to Beijing’s comment, Cyfirma, a company backed by investors including Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ), said in a statement: “We stand behind our findings and research.”

SII declined to comment. Bharat Biotech, which said on Monday it did not comment on piracy-related issues, had no immediate comment on Tuesday.

The office of the director general of India’s state-run Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) told Reuters on Monday that the hacking matter had been handed over to its chief operating officer.

He declined to comment further.

SII is manufacturing the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine for many countries and will soon begin manufacturing Novavax injections in bulk, while Bharat Biotech plans to export its COVAXIN injection to dozens of countries, including Brazil and the Philippines.

China and India have sold or given away COVID-19 injections to many countries. India produces more than 60% of all vaccines sold in the world.

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Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors came under strain in June when 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in a border clash in the Himalayas.

Recent talks have eased tension, with China’s Foreign Ministry saying both sides were working to safeguard peace in the border region.

“China and India are using the military diplomatic channel to communicate on how to properly handle the border situation,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

“We hope that everyone can work together to stop the spread of false information,” he added.

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