the staff the of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security as governments and countries press ahead with efforts to develop their own SARS-CoV-2 vaccine—as opposed to large, collaborative, multilateral efforts—”vaccine nationalism” not only creates challenges for the equitable global availability of a future vaccine, it also provides incentive for increased foreign intrusion and “espionage targeting vaccine research and development.” According to analysis published by the Council on Foreign Relations, espionage (including cyber espionage) is not technically prohibited under international law; however, it would violate international law if it were to result in “significant adverse or harmful consequences.” The analysis highlights the “ubiquity of cyber espionage” on SAR-CoV-2 vaccine efforts and the difficulty in “defending against or deterring” it.
A previous report by The New York Times indicates that Chinese intelligence operatives conducted cyber espionage on academic research institutions working on SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, rather than pharmaceutical companies, and leveraged information from the WHO to direct their activities. Additionally, Russian and Iranian intelligence organizations “targeted vaccine research networks” in multiple countries, including in Canada, the UK, and the US. In July, the US Department of Justice charged 2 Chinese nationals with spying on multiple US entities conducting SARS-CoV-2 vaccine research—including Moderna Therapeutics, which is currently conducting late-stage clinical trials for its vaccine candidate—and entities in multiple other countries.