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Russia and North Korea have been accused.. Microsoft reveals hacking attacks against Corona vaccine detectors



 Microsoft said three hacking groups linked to the Russian and North Korean governments have targeted seven organizations involved in the treatment of coronavirus and vaccine research around the world in recent months, some of which have been successful.

The software company explained that a Russian hacking group commonly called Fancy Bear or Strontium -- along with North Korean representatives named Lazarus and Cerium -- were involved in recent attempts to break into the networks of seven pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the United States.

"Among the goals, the vast majority are vaccine manufacturers who have vaccines for MERS at different stages of clinical trials," Tom Burt, Microsoft's vice president of customer security, wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft did not name the target companies or provide details about information that may have been stolen or hacked, but said it had informed the organizations and provided assistance.

But according to Microsoft, the majority of attacks have been blocked through their security protections.

The hackers used various methods to carry out attacks, according to the blog post, including attempts to log in with brute force to steal login credentials, as well as spear phishing attacks where hackers pretended to be recruits looking for job candidates, or WHO staff.

"It is disturbing that these challenges are now merging with the use of cyberattacks to disrupt health-care organizations fighting the epidemic," Burt wrote, adding, "We believe these attacks are unreasonable and should be condemned by all civilized society."

The cyberespionage allegations come as world powers race behind the scenes in a race to produce a vaccine for the virus.

The ad highlights how Microsoft is pushing for a new set of global rules that prevent digital interventions targeting healthcare providers.

"The timing of the announcement coincided with the appearance of Microsoft President Brad Smith at the Paris Virtual Peace Forum," Burt said in a blog post.

Microsoft's Vice President called on world leaders to affirm that international law protects health-care facilities and takes action to enforce the law.

"We believe that the law should be enforced with respect to attacks by government agencies and criminal groups that governments allow to operate within their borders," he said. 

Source :https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54936886