Hackers from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are attempting to steal other nations' COVID-19 vaccines, say security experts.
Adam Meyers, the senior vice president of IT security specialist Crowdstrike, says countries like Russia and China have been involved in hacks against Western countries for the last two decades - but now, the focus has turned to COVID-19.
"What you are seeing here is the latest stage in a long-running intellectual property war, but one where there is much more at stake to those involved," he told The Guardian.
"This has become a matter of national pride - who can develop vaccines first."
All of the countries accused of hacking deny it. Russia says it has no knowledge of any attempts, while China has said its own research is so far ahead that it has no reason to look at the work of others.
Iran has also denied the claims.
British sources indicate there has not yet been a successful hack of UK information - but some other countries have been successfully targeted.
Microsoft announced last week that it detected cyberattacks from three nation-state actors targeting seven prominent companies directly involved in researching vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
"Among the targets, the majority are vaccine makers that have COVID-19 vaccines in various stages of clinical trials," said corporate vice president Tom Burt.
The two popular techniques are password spraying - where hackers will trial millions of generic passwords to try and access confidential data, or spear phishing - where they send personalised emails pretending to be job recruiters or COVID-19 updates to try and lure people into giving up information.