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Homeland Security

UK condemns Russian Intelligence Services over vaccine cyber attacks

The Foreign Secretary has called out Russia's unacceptable cyber attacks against COVID-19 vaccine developers.

16 July 2020

The UK has called for an end to irresponsible cyber attacks by the Russian Intelligence Services, who have been collecting information on vaccine development and research into the COVID-19 virus.

This follows a joint advisory today (16 July) by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the US and Canada on how to protect against these attacks.

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:

It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behaviour, the UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.

The UK will continue to counter those conducting such cyber attacks, and work with our allies to hold perpetrators to account.

Notes to editors:

  • The actors responsible are known and tracked in open source as APT29, Cozy Bear and The Dukes.
  • NCSC are almost certain (95%+) that APT29 are part of the Russian Intelligence Services. APT29 has targeted medical research and development organisations. NCSC assess it is highly likely (80 – 90%) that this activity was to collect information on COVID-19 vaccine research or research into the COVID-19 virus itself.
  • Find further details on the framework used by the UK government for all source intelligence assessments, including the probability yardstick.
  • NCSC advice on how to protect against this threat is available.

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