By Sunidhi Dubey: Since the news of Covid-19 vaccines being developed and tested around the world in full swing has been announced, cybercriminals are more active than ever.
According to Microsoft, cybercriminals are progressively focusing on prominent organisations associated with Covid-19 medication and immunisation advancement. “In recent months, we’ve detected cyberattacks from three nation-state actors targeting seven prominent companies directly involved in researching vaccines and treatments for Covid-19… We’ve notified all organisations targeted, and where attacks have been successful, we’ve offered help,” according to a Microsoft report.
These cybercriminals are targeting the entire hospital sector, including hospitals where vaccine trials are likely to take place in different stages, and pharma companies, among others. They are focusing on the healthcare sector in India, Canada, France, South Korea and the United States.
The phishing net
Russia-based actor ‘Strontium’, and North Korea-based actors ‘Zinc’ and ‘Cerium’ conduct the digital assaults.
Strontium utilises methods, such as password spraying and brute force login endeavours, to steal login credentials, while Zinc essentially depends on phishing for credential theft. Cerium phishes via Covid-themed messages, who pretends to be World Health Organization (WHO) agent(s).
Indian pharmaceutical company, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which has been conducting trials for a Russian Covid-19 vaccine, also reported cyberattacks.
As personal data of the people undergoing trials and are admitted in hospitals are at high risk, it is important that the authorities concerned, and the governments and world leaders find ways to protect all from such cyberattacks and cyber criminals.