Republican Members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a letter to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today. The letter was prompted by a joint CISA and FBI report issued May 13, 2020: People’s Republic of China (PRC) Targeting of COVID-19 Research Organizations.

The report publicized recent attempts by China to steal public health data and intellectual property by hacking U.S. organizations conducting research on COVID-19. The CISA and FBI announcement warned that, “the potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options.”

The Committee Members requested a briefing to better understand the challenges America’s research institutions and companies are facing from these threats, and how the FBI and CISA are working to detect and prevent such attacks.

“Taking into consideration the vital research these U.S. institutions are conducting in order to develop vaccines and treatments for the novel coronavirus that is devastating the entire world, such malicious targeting is reprehensible,” the Members wrote.

“We applaud your work in notifying the public to raise awareness of these threats and appreciate the resources and guidance you are providing to institutions that may be targeted. 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 letter was led by Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) and signed by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep Troy Balderson (R-OH), and Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL).

The full letter is available here.