Η Microsoft states that he located three state hacking groups (known as APT) who have attacked at least seven Companies engaged in the research and development of vaccines for COVID-19. The company has linked the attacks to a team of Russia and two North Korean teams.
With regard to Russian group, Microsoft claims that the APT group Strontium (also known as Fancy Bear, APT28) carried out password spraying and brute-force attacks to gain login credentials, access victim accounts and steal sensitive information.
One of her APT team North Korea, known as Lazarus Group or Zinc has carried out mainly spear-phishing attacks. Criminals send emails to employees of the target companies and offer them new attractive jobs to entice them.
Her second group North Korea (Cerium) is rather a new team. Microsoft says Cerium was also involved in spear-phishing attacks using Covid-19 issues, pretending to be representatives of the World Health Organization.
According to Microsoft, the APT teams in Russia and North Korea have targeted vaccine manufacturers for COVID-19, a clinical research body involved in testing, and an organization that has developed a COVID-19 test.
The target companies were located in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the United States.
Vaccine manufacturers and organizations health care have been found in the crosshairs of hackers. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the global pandemic and have stepped up their attacks, knowing that these organizations are vulnerable right now.
Instead of focusing on patient care, hospitals are facing attacks ransomware. Many such incidents have occurred in the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain and Thailand.
During the summer, several organisms, such as Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict and CyberPeace Institute call on governments around the world to protect healthcare providers and vaccine manufacturers from hacking attacks.
The organizations called on governments to enact rules to prevent attacks and punish criminals targeting healthcare organizations.
The President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, suggested the same at the virtual Paris Peace Forum.
"Microsoft calls on world leaders to reaffirm international law protecting healthcare organizations and taking law enforcement action".
However, many experts argue that these calls will not work, as they do not cause enough political pressure to force governments to take appropriate measures to protect organizations.
"Most governments don't really have the capacity to do that, others just don't care."Said a security researcher.