Global cybersecurity experts have accused Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea of engaging in “intellectual property war” by trying to COVID vaccine data.
Global cybersecurity experts have accused Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea of engaging in “intellectual property war” by trying to steal data related to COVID-19 vaccine research and deployment. According to The Guardian, state-sponsored hackers from these countries are working tirelessly to obtain sensitive information regarding COVID-19 trial results and vaccine production.
‘COVID-19 has become primary motive’
The UK daily quoted Adam Meyers, senior vice-president at the IT security specialists Crowdstrike, as saying that Russia and China have long engaged in data theft, but for the past several months the primary motive of hacking has been to obtain information related to COVID-19. Adam said that with COVID-19 vaccine roll-out becoming a matter of national pride for many nations, state-sponsored hackers from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea have been trying to steal research and other related information.
Experts allege that most of these cyberattacks are committed by hackers who have close links with spy and defence agencies of the countries from where the attacks originate. However, Russia, China, and Iran have all denied engaging in cyberwarfare. Moscow has said that it has “no knowledge” of any hacking attempts, while Beijing claims its vaccine research is so advanced that there is no need for it to steal data.
Last week, Microsoft had accused hackers from Russia and North Korea of targetting pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers in Canada, France, India, South Korea, and the United States with cyberattacks.
“These are attacks that aim to break into people’s accounts using thousands or millions of rapid attempts,” the American tech company had said in a blog post. The US government has also accused China of carrying out cyberattacks on American firms with an intention to steal COVID-19 vaccine research.