State-Sponsored APTs Target COVID-19 Research
Microsoft says that State-sponsored hackers operating on behalf of the Russian and North Korean governments have been targeting organizations involved in COVID-19 vaccine research and development. Microsoft found evidence of three hacking groups targeting a total of seven organizations in South Korea, India, France, Canada, and the US. (Please note that the WSJ story is behind a paywall.)
With the pressure to be first to market with an effective vaccine, countries are willing to reach that goal by any means necessary. Organizations working to create the drugs are in the crosshairs, in ways they are not prepared for or resourced to defend against. Microsoft is offering AccountGuard as a free service to healthcare organizations to help raise the bar on their email account security. (See https://www.microsoftaccountguard.com/healthcare/) It also includes notifications, direct links to Microsoft Customer Security and Trust team and security webinars and workshops, which should help focus limited resources as well as better prepare to protect systems without a significant time or cash outlay.
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Ars Technica: Hackers sponsored by Russia and North Korea are targeting COVID-19 researchers
ZDNet: Microsoft says three APTs have targeted seven COVID-19 vaccine makers
WSJ: Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Face Russian, North Korean Cyberattacks, Microsoft Says (paywall)
Microsoft: Cyberattacks targeting health care must stop