Hackers, believed to have been instigated by Russia, have been found trying to steal details of coronavirus vaccines currently in development

The UK, US and Canada have all reported cases of attempted hacking into COVID-19 vaccine projects. For example, criminals working for the hacking group Advanced Persistent Threat 29 (APT29) have attacked pharmaceutical businesses and academic institutions involved in COVID-19 vaccine development. These attacks aimed to steal intellectual property and information about potential vaccine candidates. According to an article in Wired, the recent ATP29 attacks are believed to have been sponsored by the Russian government.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) officials have not commented on whether the attacks were successful but also have not ruled out that this is the case. This is not the first time during the pandemic that hackers have exploited the health crisis for their advantage. There has been an increase in attacks against businesses as employees have moved to work from home, with hospitals and other medical organisations becoming a common target.

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