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UK, US AND CANADA HIT RUSSIAN CYBERATTACKS ON COVID RESEARCHERS

Russian cyber hackers are targeting organizations involved in coronavirus vaccine development, according to a new warning by US, UK and Canadian security officials on Thursday that details activity by a Russian hacking group called APT29, which also goes by the name "the Dukes" or "Cozy Bear."

An advisory published by the UK National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) details activity by the Russian hacking group and explicitly calls out efforts to target US, UK and Canadian vaccine research and development organizations, Zachary Cohen, Luke McGee and Alex Marquardt reported for CNN late on July 16, 2020.


"APT29's campaign of malicious activity is ongoing, predominantly against government, diplomatic, think tank, healthcare and energy targets to steal valuable intellectual property," a press release on the advisory said.


Cozy Bear is one of two hacking groups linked to Russian intelligence that is believed to have accessed the Democratic National Committee's internal systems in the lead-up to the 2016 US election, but Thursday's announcement is the first time this group has been named in connection to cyberattacks related to the coronavirus pandemic. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Russia "has nothing to do" with the hacking attacks targeting organizations involved in coronavirus vaccine development, according to the state-run news agency TASS.


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