Western governments accused that Russian hackers have tried to steal COVID-19 vaccine. The hacking group called APT29, which is also known as ‘The Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bears’ is connected to Russian Intelligence and are trying to hack the institutes which are working on Covid-19 vaccine.
Russia Accused of Stealing Covid-19 Vaccine
It is said that Russian intelligence is trying to steal the private information about Coronavirus vaccine. It is said that the hackers are using “spear phishing, custom malware, WellMess and WellMail” to hack vaccine research institutes.
United States Department for Homeland Security (DHS), UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, Cyber-security Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Canadian Communication Security Establishment (CSE) have called out the Kremlin in a public warning.
The culprit is a familiar foe. Intelligence agencies in the US, UK and Canada. It is said that these hacking groups were blamed for the American election, which was four years ago. It is attacking the academic and pharmaceutical research institutions which are involved in Covid-19 vaccine.
Still, there is no information on which information is stolen.
The British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said,
“It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic.”
White House Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said,
“We worked very closely with our allies to ensure that we would take measures to keep that information safe and we continue to do so so.”
On Thursday, the US officials have accused China of Virtually identical conduct. But the latest public warning was for targeting a hacking group and specified the software vulnerabilities.
The senior director of analysis at Mandiant Threat Intelligence, John Hultquist said,
“I think (the governments) have very specific intelligence that they can provide. The report is full of specific operational information that defenders can use to protect their networks.”
Russian President’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said,
“We don’t have information about who may have hacked pharmaceutical companies and research centers in Britain.”
“We may say one thing: Russia has nothing to do with those attempts,” Peskov said.
However, the alert of hacking vaccine did not target the organizations. But it said that the targeters were in US, UK and Canada.
Britain’s NCSC’s assessment was shared by the US Department of Homeland Security. Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Security Agency, and by the Canadian Communication Security Establishment.
The advisory said,
“In recent attacks targeting COVID-19 vaccine research and development, the group conducted basic vulnerability scanning against specific external IP addresses owned by the organizations. The group then deployed public exploits against the vulnerable services identified.”