Coronavirus face mask

Russian Hacking Group Targets Covid Vaccine Research

Do you remember that time I told you that hackers have no shame?  That goes for Russian hackers, too.

Almost as if trying to highlight my point, the NSA reported today that Russian hackers – the SAME Russian hackers that stole data off the DNC servers (APT29 and Cozy Bear), mind you – have been attempting to exfiltrate Covid vaccine data from British, Canadian and American healthcare organizations via phishing expeditions.

The purpose of this exfiltration attempt appears to be simply further stoking the flames of Coronavirus chaos but the methods are not new; using fake emails to trick employees into providing usernames and passwords that can be utilized to gain access to sensitive medical information.

Russia isn’t even original in their attempt; China and Iran have also tried to steal vaccine information from the US.  Fortunately, even if the hacks were successful, they wouldn’t have a major overall impact on the pandemic; it looks as though the only ones who would suffer would be the businesses coming up with the vaccines.

The one thing that is new is the fact that Cozy Bear has never used malware before, and all evidence points to the group merely attempting to copy the data; they don’t appear to be attempting any sort of sabotage, and Putin denies knowledge of the attempted hacks, though the NSA is extremely skeptical of that.

Additionally, the US government was able to find the vulnerabilities leading to the breech, but they are mum on who the victims were and how much, if any, data was taken.  They did, however, announce that the Russian group was using the “WellMess” and “WellMail” ransomware.

All of this points back to the fact that the US is woefully lacking in cybersecurity, and we hope they are able to turn a new leaf sooner, rather than later.  It also highlights just how important cybersecurity training is to businesses and the government.  Do your employees know the red flags of phishing expeditions?

If you are uncertain if your cyber security is adequate or not?  Most likely, it isn’t.  Which makes your business extremely vulnerable, especially when so many workers are working remotely.  A great start for your employees would be sending them our free Remote Security Checklist.  But cyber security isn’t like a Crock Pot; you can’t just “set it and forget it.”  It is more like an onion, with many layers, and the more layers, the better.

If you would like more information about our comprehensive training and how our cyber security methods can keep you, your employees and your company safe, feel free to give us a call at 919.422.2607.  You can also schedule a free consultation with Craig by using our online scheduler.

When it comes to cyber security training, you are only as strong as your weakest link, and training your staff to spot phishing emails is one of the most impactful moves you can make when fighting against potential cyber criminals.

Oh, and did I mention… Hackers have ZERO shame.  Stay safe out there.

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