We’re all unbelievably ready for a vaccine to be produced, packaged, and on its way to our nearest clinic so we can be back on track to the ‘normal’ we’re used to. While some are working diligently to get there, others are trying to steal vaccine efforts through online hacking.
“Security officials in the United States, Britain and Canada announced Thursday that hackers linked to Russia were actively trying to steal information from researchers working to produce coronavirus vaccines and anti-viral drugs.” The allure of freedom from masks and gloves is all too great, but stealing information? Really?
Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre’s director of operations Paul Chichester calls this, “despicable attacks against those doing vital work to combat the coronavirus pandemic.” Chichester also calls upon organizations to do all they can to “defend their networks,” by using their published advice.
Published Thursday, the NCSC sent an advisory that its 95 percent certain the cyber espionage group APT29 (“the Dukes” or “Cozy Bear”) is behind the attacks targeting British, American and Canadian vaccine research.
Russia denies involvement in any of last week’s cyber-attacks but Russian drug maker R-Pharm has recently signed a licensing deal with Britain’s AstraZeneca to “produce and distribute doses of its University of Oxford-partnered adenovirus-based COVID-19 shot, AZD1222.”
The agreement details that R-Pharm will export Oxford’s shot to markets including Russia and post-Soviet republics – the Middle East and the Balkans.
The agreement is also Russia’s alibi and counterargument to the accusations it “engaged in corporate espionage to steal vaccine secrets, but Western intelligence officials have reason to be skeptical.”
COVID-19 research and the battle to quickly find a working vaccine has every country on edge. A solution to the world’s current economic crisis is an appetizing target for any hacking group, Russian or not, just as well attacks are expected to continue.
Hacking is on the rise in every industry, if you’re searching for the best way to protect your data reach out to our cyber experts at (714) 266-3790 or [email protected].