UK, U.S., and Canada Accuse Russia of Hacking Attacks to Steal Secret Research on Covid-19 Vaccine

News and Analysis

Great Britain has claimed that the Russian government-backed hackers made an attempt to illegally obtain secret research on a coronavirus vaccine developed by Britain. Apart from the United Kingdom, the Russian intelligence allegedly targeted pharmaceutical research organizations in the United States and Canada as part of the attack.

The cyberattack that was revealed by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) apparently targeted Oxford University and Imperial College of London that have been developing the vaccine, with the British government allocating over £40 million to the research teams.

No “Proper Evidence” of Russia’s Involvement?

The NCSC attributed the attack to the APT29 hacking group, also known as Cozy Bear and The Dukes. It is believed that the group is linked to Russian intelligence and primarily targets commercial entities and government organizations. In its report on the issue, the NCSC said:

“APT29 is likely to continue to target organizations involved in Covid-19 vaccine research and development as they seek to answer additional intelligence questions relating to the pandemic.”

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that the accusations were not backed by “proper evidence,” and added:

“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.”

In response to the attempt to steal the secret research, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

“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 UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health. The UK will continue to counter those conducting such cyber-attacks and work with our allies to hold perpetrators to account.”

A Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, with the U.S. having more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country. As of July 16, the total number of cases and deaths from the virus in the U.S. reached 3,483,832, with 136,938 deaths reported.

Earlier in July, researchers in the U.S. reported findings from the first 45 volunteers who participated in the first experimental coronavirus vaccine tests in March. The vaccine proved itself to be the way the scientists had hoped, and now it is awaiting its final testing, with 30,000 participants.

The alleged attack by Russia came on the heels of the country’s announcement to produce 200 million doses of an experimental vaccine by the end of 2020. This could ostensibly explain the attack as Russia is apparently committed to competing with the Western countries in the vaccine development.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our Telegram channel to know what’s up with crypto and why it’s important.

Found a typo? Highlight text and press CTRL+ENTER

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Related posts

Tags: , , , ,