Health

UK: Russian hackers attempted to steal coronavirus vaccine research

LONDON — Russian hackers are targeting organizations developing coronavirus vaccines, according to security officials from the U.K., United States and Canada.

The U.K.s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Thursday published details of attacks which it says are being carried out by a group known as APT29, also named “the Dukes” or “Cozy Bear,” that it alleges “almost certainly” operate as part of Russian intelligence services.

The NCSC said in a statement that the attacks predominantly hit government departments, diplomatic missions, think tanks and health care and energy targets to steal valuable intellectual property.

The attacks which are taking place against scientists and others doing vital work to combat coronavirus are despicable,” Boris Johnsons official spokesperson told reporters. “Working with our allies, we will call out those who seek to do us harm in cyber space and hold them to account.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement: “It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behavior, the U.K. and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health. The U.K. will continue to counter those conducting such cyber attacks, and work with our allies to hold perpetrators to account.”

“We condemn these despicable attacks against those doing vital work to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” said NCSC Director of Operations Paul Chichester. “Working with our allies, the NCSC is committed to protecting our most critical assets and our top priority at this time is to protect the health sector.”

The NCSC said its analysis is backed by partners at the Canadian Communication Security Establishment, the US Department for Homeland Security, Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Security Agency.

“The National Security Agency, along with our partners, remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting national security by collectively issuing this critical cybersecurity advisory as foreign actors continue to take advantage of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said NSA Cybersecurity Director Anne NeuRead More – Source