Scientific laboratories invloved in finding a coronavirus vaccine in the UK and the US have been targeted by “malicious cyber campaigns.”
Universities and pharmaceutical companies who are involved in coronavirus have been targeted, the joint alert does not name the countries, but China, Russia and Iran, it is understood could be behind this.
Large scale “password spraying” campaigns were detected by, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Password spraying means that there are multiple attempts to access a large number of user’s accounts using various forms of passwords.
Paul Chichester, the NCSC’s director of operations, said: “Protecting the healthcare sector is the NCSC’s first and foremost priority at this time, and we’re working closely with the NHS to keep their systems safe.
“By prioritising any requests for support from health organisations and remaining in close contact with industries involved in the coronavirus response, we can inform them of any malicious activity and take the necessary steps to help them defend against it.
“But we can’t do this alone, and we recommend healthcare policy makers and researchers take our actionable steps to defend themselves from password spraying campaigns.”
Byran Ware, CISA’s assistant director of cybersecurity said, “The trusted and continuous cybersecurity collaboration CISA has with NCSC and industry partners plays a critical role in protecting the public and organisations, specifically during this time as healthcare organisations are working at maximum capacity.”