Eleven GOP members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee have requested a briefing on a cyber alert issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the FBI on May 13.

The May 13 notice warned that the Chinese government is attempting to hack U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19 research to obtain U.S. intellectual property and public health data.

In a May 22 letter, spearheaded by Ranking Member Frank Lucas, R-Okla., the Republicans said that “while this announcement is extremely concerning, it is not surprising” and applauded the FBI and CISA for issuing the alert.

“Given the critical nature of the COVID-19 research being conducted at U.S. institutions, it is imperative they take the proper steps to secure their networks and take advantage of the resources your agencies have without delay,” the representatives wrote to CISA Director Chris Krebs and FBI Director Chris Wray.

The representatives said that since the Committee have jurisdiction over the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which develops cybersecurity standards and guidelines for the Federal government and recommendations for the private sector, they were requesting a briefing with members and staff of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology no later than June 22, 2020. The letter noted that if necessary the briefing from CISA and the FBI could be classified and be closed to the public.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.