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Beijing dismisses alleged hacking by Indian vaccine manufacturers



(Reuters) – China on Tuesday rejected an accusation from a cyber intelligence company that a state hacking group was targeting the IT systems of two Indian coronavirus vaccine manufacturers.

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

"Without showing any evidence, the party concerned made baseless speculations, distorted and summarized facts, to the detriment of a specific party," the Chinese Foreign Ministry told Reuters.

"This behavior is irresponsible and has an ulterior motive. China strongly opposes it, "it added in a written response to questions about Cyfirma's allegations.

Cyfirma, a company backed by investors including Goldman Sachs, was asked to respond to Beijing's comment: “We stand by our results and research.

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

The office of the Director General of the State of Indian Computer Contingency (CERT) told Reuters on On Monday, the hacking issue had been handed over to its chief of operations.

It declined further comments.

SII vaccinates Oxford University-AstraZeneca for many countries and will soon begin manufacturing Novavax bulkheads, while Bharat Biotech plans to export its COVAXIN bulkheads to dozens of countries including Brazil and the Philippines.

China and India have both sold or gifted COVID-1

9 shots to many countries. India produces more than 60% of all vaccines sold in the world.

The relationship between the nuclear-armed neighbors intensified in June when 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in a border confrontation with the Himalayas. Recent talks have eased tensions, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry saying both sides were working to protect peace in the border region.

More insurance and risk management news about the coronavirus crisis here.


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