Russia accused of trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research
The US, UK, and Canada. Yesterday, intel agencies from the three countries said Russian hackers targeted multiple orgs involved in coronavirus vaccine research and development. The culprits: a Russian hacking group called APT29 – also known as Cozy Bear – that’s believed to have connections to Russian intelligence. Their goal: to steal info and intel property tied to the development and testing of coronavirus vaccines, according to authorities.
Indeed. And intel officials apparently believe the group’s attacks have been “persistent, highly targeted, and ongoing.” How the hacking went down: A variety of techniques like custom-built malware – which allows a hacker to control a system, upload, and download files. And spear phishing – which can trick people into handing over security credentials and passwords. UK officials said the group’s managed to get some “initial footholds.”
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It’s unclear. Officials said it doesn’t seem like the alleged attacks disrupted vaccine-related work…that they know of. But the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre condemned the “despicable attacks” against those working to combat the pandemic. Currently, there are more than 150 vaccines in development around the world – and they could take years of research and testing before they’re produced and rolled out to the public. Which is why some officials believe this research has become a key target for these Russian hackers.
WHAT IS RUSSIA SAYING?
This bytes. The Kremlin denied the allegations and said it “has nothing to do with these attempts.” But this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Cozy Bear. Back in 2016, the US blamed the group for hacking the Democratic National Committee’s emails (remember those?). Now, the NSA said they want “everyone to take this threat seriously.” Especially since this isn’t the only hacking episode the US has seen lately. . vaccine