The National Centre for Cyber Security in the UK on Thursday accused Russian hackers of trying to steal information about the development of British coronavirus vaccine COVID-19.
“Officials in the British intelligence services reported that Russian cyberagents attempted to attack organizations involved in the development of vaccines against coronavirus,” said in a statement issued by the center, distributed on its website July 16.
According to the British side, behind this is a group of hackers called APT29, which is attacking organizations around the world. The group is also known as “Dukes” or “Cozy Bear. According to the British security services, these hackers are acting on behalf of the Russian security services.
This assessment was also supported by the U.S. and Canadian intelligence services – the Communications Security Center (a division of the Canadian Defense Ministry), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Agency for Cyber Security and Infrastructure Protection and the National Security Agency.
London and its partners believe that these hackers are campaigning to steal high-value intellectual property in government agencies, diplomacy, academia, health and energy. The centre condemned “these heinous attacks on those doing vital work in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic”.
In addition, the Centre for Cyber Security issued a set of security rules for Coronavirus development organizations to protect them from cyberattacks. It also contains recommendations for the identification and mitigation of cyberthreats.
The head of the British Foreign Office, Dominique Raab, promised that Britain would work with allies to bring to justice those who carry out cyberattacks such as the one mentioned above.
“The UK will continue to oppose those who carry out such cyberattacks. We will work with the allies to bring those responsible to justice,” the minister said in a statement.
He noted that “it is absolutely unacceptable that the Russian intelligence services are acting against those who are fighting against the coronavirus pandemic.