Foreign government hackers have broken into companies researching COVID-19 treatment along with the U.S. healthcare industry, an FBI official reportedly stated.
” the FBI Deputy Assistant Director, tonya Ugoretz, told participants the bureau has witnessed state-backed hackers.
She did not specify what states endorsed the hackers what organizations were targeted.
“We certainly have seen reconnaissance activity, and a few intrusions, into a number of these associations, particularly those that have publicly identified themselves as according to COVID-related research,” Ugoretz stated, according to Reuters.
Their activity is generally increased during a catastrophe like the pandemic although she said that hackers have their sights set on the industry.
Ugoretz said as institutions promote certain vaccines or treatments they are working , it leaves them vulnerable to strikes.
“The sad flipside is that it kind of makes them a marker for other nation-states that are thinking about gleaning details about exactly what they’re doing and perhaps even stealing proprietary data that those institutions have,” she added,” according to the news organization.
Bill Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said,”now is the time” for institutions to be conscious of attacks in their research that may be critical in the fight against COVID-19.
“Medical research organizations and those who work for these should be vigilant against hazard actors seeking to steal intellectual property or other sensitive data related to America’s reaction to this COVID19 pandemic,” he added, according to Reuters.