Retha Ferguson/Victor Tangermann
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Microsoft Claims Russia and North Korea Hacked COVID Vaccine Data

byVictor Tangermann
11. 13. 20
Retha Ferguson/Victor Tangermann

Microsoft claims its security tools warded off "the majority of these attacks."

Vaccine Hacks

Microsoft said that it has “detected cyberattacks from three nation-state actors targeting seven prominent companies directly involved in researching vaccines and treatments for COVID-19,” according to a blog post by the software giant. The hackers originate from Russia and North Korea.

“The targets include leading pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the United States,” the blog post reads.

Russian hackers reportedly used “password spray and brute force login attempts to steal login credentials,” according to the statement, while North Korean hackers used “spear-phishing lures for credential theft, sending messages with fabricated job descriptions pretending to be recruiters.”

Microsoft claims that security tools baked into its products helped ward off “the majority of these attacks.”

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Join the Club

Russia and North Korea would be joining a growing list of countries that are reportedly involved in attempts to get hold of biomedical research about the pandemic. In May, US officials told The Wall Street Journal that Chinese and Iranian hackers were targeting US efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

In July, Department of Justice charged two Chinese nationals with hacking computer systems to steal information about COVID vaccines on behalf of the Chinese government.

The UK National Cyber Security Centre also accused the Kremlin of targeting coronavirus vaccine development in July. Russia promptly rejected the charges.

Microsoft’s president Brad Smith will speak at today’s virtual Paris Peace Form to discuss these issues with representatives from countries that may be affected by the hacks originating from Russia and North Korea.

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READ MORE: Microsoft: Russian, North Korean hackers target vaccine work [Associated Press]

More on vaccine hacks: State-Backed Russian Hackers Are Targeting Coronavirus Vaccine Research

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