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UK’s intelligence agencies are working to prevent hacking attempts to steal Covid-19 vaccine secrets: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 05, 2020 Published on June 05, 2020

Intelligence agencies in Britain are working to prevent hacking attempts from “hostile states” targeted towards stealing the secrets of a potential vaccine for Covid-19, the country’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has communicated as per reports.

Hackers had been targeting UK’s health services to steal valuable and sensitive research data, GCHQ had said, according to a report by The Guardian.

Hackers were looking for “basic vulnerabilities” to target its health infrastructure often by using simple techniques, the report said.

It is a high priority for the government to prevent the cybersecurity of its health sector in the current race to acquire a vaccine for the global pandemic that has taken the world by a storm.

The intelligence agencies have not named any particular countries engaging in these attempts. However, according to the Guardian, Beijing was believed to have been involved in these attempts.

Countries have previously blamed China for hacking attempts targeted towards Covid-19 research. A claim that has been denied by the country on multiple occasions as per reports. Last month. the US had formally accused China of backing attempts to hack the country’s coronavirus research data.

The US’ cybersecurity agency had released a public service announcement to raise awareness about a “threat to Covid-19 related research.”

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are issuing this announcement to raise awareness of the threat to Covid-19-related research,” the PSA read.

“The FBI is investigating the targeting and compromise of US organizations conducting Covid-19-related research by PRCaffiliated cyber actors and non-traditional collectors. These actors have been observed attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with Covid-19-related research,” it had added

Published on June 05, 2020
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