Med-tech titan Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) was one of 760 companies hit by Chinese cyber attacks that also targeted U.S. government agencies, research universities and Internet providers.
It’s not clear whether the Natick, Mass.-based medical device maker lost any sensitive information in the attack.
The attacks were aimed at the medical device, biotechnology, clean energy, advanced semiconductor, high-end manufacturing and information technology industries, according to Bloomberg.
"We’re talking about stealing entire industries," Scott Borg, director of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, told the news service. "This may be the biggest transfer of wealth in a short period of time that the world has ever seen."
The cyber-warfare is just the latest item in a string of bad luck for Boston Scientific, which got hit with a half-billion-dollar tax bill from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service last week.
The latest tab, for $581 million plus interest and penalties, comes out of an IRS audit of Boston Scientific’s 2006 acquisition of pacemaker firm Guidant Corp.
As with two other disputes between Boston Scientific and the taxman, the latest IRS "Notice of Deficiency" concerns the agency’s tally of transfer pricing between domestic and foreign Guidant subsidiaries. But the new bill also includes charges related to a 2006 deal in which Abbott (NYSE:ABT) bought Guidant’s stent business from BSX, according to the filing.
It could take several years to settle the dispute, the company added, noting that it believes it has sufficient income tax reserves to avoid "a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations."
In December 2010, the IRS dunned BSX for more than half a billion dollars – again plus interest – to settle Guidant’s tax bill from 2001, 2002 and 2003. In September the IRS hit BSX with another $154 million bill for 2006 and 2007.