Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company’s lab, in Surrey, B.C., Thursday, March 26, 2020. A trio of federal cabinet minister is warning COVID-19 researchers to take additional precautions to protect their efforts from those with nefarious intentions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Ministers warn COVID-19 researchers anew of threat of foreign actors

It’s not clear what prompted this new alert

A trio of federal cabinet minister is warning COVID-19 researchers to take additional precautions to protect their efforts from thieves and vandals.

The statement today says the federal government is concerned about “hostile actors” targeting pandemic-related research in this country and urges government scientists, academics and private-sector workers to double- and triple-check their security measures.

Signed by Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, the statement recommends strong cyber- and physical-security protocols.

It’s not clear what prompted this new alert, months after Canada’s intelligence agencies first warned of state-sponsored hackers targeting COVID-19 research.

In mid-July, Canadian, British and U.S. security services said they believed hackers working for Russia’s intelligence agency were trying to steal vaccine research.

The statement today warns of threats to intellectual property and business interests as well as long-term economic competitiveness from espionage and foreign interference.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Search on for mushroom picker missing from near Kitwanga

Tommy Dennis was last seen Sept 16 wearing blue jeans, black cap, rubber boots, grey checked sweater

Northwest firefighters headed to Oregon to battle wildfires

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read