After an alleged cyber stint by China in gathering coronavirus related data by conducting massive cyber-attacks on countries like Australia, Russian intelligence agencies are now being accused of the same.
APT29 are known to have attacked Britain, Canada and U.S.A. to gather coronavirus vaccine related data for Russia, an accusation strongly contended especially by British Foreign Secretary Domnic Raab. In the meanwhile, Russia’s U.K. ambassador Andrei Kelin has denied all allegations.
Canadian Communication Security Establishment (CSE) and UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) stated that APT29 had a clear intention of stealing vaccine data and that, the group was a part of Russian Intelligence agencies. Although, the involvement of Russian high-ranking officials is still unclear.
APT29 or Cozy Bear are known for the cyber threats they pose to organizations globally. They were previously known to have been associated with 2016 US Presidential election and 2017 attack on Norway governmental institutes.
As a matter of fact, Russia is already set to table its coronavirus vaccine for public by next month. Therefore, the claims made by the said three states seem baseless. Russia has denied all possibilities of involvement. The Russian spies were earlier involved in poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter using a nerve agent and a cyber-attack does not seem like a farfetched theory. UK is also set to publish its Russia interference report soon.
Since the lockdown began in major countries, the cyber threats have become menacing since the world seems to have come on a standstill with its massively increased dependence on the internet.
By Ridha Dhawan
Member, REPORTER’S COMMITTEE