Daily Mail

‘Hack’ firm won testing contract


A CHINESE firm was awarded a multimilli­on-pound government Covid contract despite officials knowing it was behind alleged cyber attacks on the NHS, a minister has claimed.

Science minister George Freeman said he was told in 2014 that BGI Group had been hacking Genomics England, a project which uses NHS patient data run by the Department of Health. But in 2021 BGI Genomics – a subsidiary of BGI group and China’s leading genomics research company – won an £11million Covid testing contract. Mr Freeman

said during a Commons debate yesterday: ‘We are in a global race... with hostile actors who wish to use science and technology to undermine us. BGI is clearly one.’

BGI has denied the claims, saying it has ‘never been involved in “hack attacks” against anyone’. It said the firm was not ‘state-owned or statecontr­olled’, adding: ‘Our lab in the UK has its own local servers, and data processed in the UK remains in the UK and the EU. Our labs meet stringent standards in informatio­n security.’

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