Microsoft has revealed that hackers from North Korea and Russia have been involved in cyber attacks targeting large pharmaceutical companies. These seven companies are currently studying drugs and vaccines against COVID-19.
Pharmaceutical companies developing Covid-19 vaccine targeted by hackers
“In recent months, we have detected cyber attacks from three state actors in the country targeting seven leading companies directly involved in research into vaccines and treatments for Covid-19. Targets include leading pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the United States. The attacks came from Strontium, a player from Russia, and two players from North Korea that we call Zinc and Cerium, ”said Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President of Customer Security & Trust.
These very successful cyber attacks were carried out by three hacker groups, including Fancy Bear / APT28, Lazarus and Cerium. The Russian state-sponsored Strontium hacking group used password-cracking techniques. The objective was none other than to steal the login credentials of researchers associated with pharmaceutical companies. On the other hand, the Lazarus Group and Cerium used spear-phishing emails to attack their victims; however, the number of successful attacks is not known.
Today’s blog post coincides with Microsoft President Brad Smith’s appearance at the Paris Peace Forum. Where he plans to ask nations to protect healthcare companies from cyber attacks. “We believe the law should be enforced not only when attacks originate from government agencies, but also when they originate from criminal groups that governments allow, or even facilitate, to operate within their borders. It is criminal activity that cannot be tolerated, ”the company explained today.