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US Warnings of Chinese Hackers Targeting COVID-19 Research Orgs

US Warnings of Chinese Hackers Targeting COVID-19 Research Orgs

Threatened persons associated with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) try to compromise and collect information on COVID-19 from US health, pharmaceutical and research organizations.

As indicated in a joint official statement (1, 2, 3) issued today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Agency for Cyber Security and Infrastructure Protection (ACI) are currently investigating ongoing attacks.

China’s efforts to combat these areas pose a significant threat to our country’s response to COVID-19, the FBI said.

The purpose of this announcement is to raise awareness among research institutions and the U.S. public and to provide resources and advice to those who may be targeted.

These actors have attempted to identify and illegally obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data relating to vaccines, treatments and tests from the networks and collaborators involved in COVID research.

The possible theft of this information endangers the availability of reliable, effective and efficient treatment options.

Rumours confirmed

Today’s warning confirms the rumors that the U.S. authorities will raise awareness this week that Chinese security organizations are trying to involve U.S. organizations in COWID-19 related research.

Last week ICAR and the UK’s National Centre for Cybersecurity (NCSC) issued another opinion to organisations involved in the international response to COVID-19, Health and Basic Services, which is being challenged by government-backed hacker groups.

Although they did not name the country that sponsored the attacks, the ultimate goal was the same: Threat actors were looking for information on national and international health policy or confidential COWID-19 research data.

ICAR and NCSC stated that they were also investigating PTA campaigns that make widespread use of password sprays to attack international and national health organisations in many countries, including, but not limited to, the United States and the United Kingdom.

В прошлом месяце ФБР также сообщило в совместном флэш-оповещении, координируемом CISA, что фишинговые кампаниии были нацелены на американских поставщиков медицинских услуг с помощью тематических приманок COVID-19 для распространения вредоносных вложений с с целью первичного вектора вторжения для обеспечения эксплуатации системы, устойчивости и эксфильтрации.

ФБР и @CISAgov наблюдали, как афилированные с КНР субъекты пытались получить результаты исследований в области общественного здравоохранения, связаннных с лечением #COVID19. Потенциальная кража этой информации https://t.co/rDphcshGHk под угрозу предоставление безопасных, эффективных и действенных вариантов лечения. ставит.

– ФБР (@FBI) 13 мая 2020 г.

Рекомендации по обороне

Полная консультация по вопросам государственной государственной (1, (2) также содержит рекомендациии для исследовательских организаций US COVID-19 по защите от нападений и информацию о службы, как сообщать подозрительной преступной деятельности.

ФБР и CISA настоятельно призывают все организациии, проводящие исследования в этих областях, поддерживать специальные методы обеспечения кибербезопасности борьбы с инсайдерскими угрозами тайного просмотра кражи материалов, связанных с КОВИД-19, говорится в ДРП.

Target organisations involved in research and response to COVID-19 are encouraged to take defensive measures to block possible attacks:

  • Suppose that the press attention for the COVID-19 research will lead to more interest and cyber activities.
  • Remedy all systems for critical vulnerabilities, giving priority to the rapid correction of known vulnerabilities of servers connected to the Internet and software processing Internet data.
  • Actively scan web applications for unauthorized access, changes or abnormal actions.
  • Improved account information and multi-factor authentication requirements.
  • Identify and block users who are exceptionally active.

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