Group linked to Russian intelligence hacking COVID-19 vaccine research: UK

WION Web Team
WorldUpdated: Jul 16, 2020, 07:48 PM IST
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The Russian military had earlier announced the vaccine it had developed was 'safe' after conducting clinical trials since June 18

UK on Thursday accused Russian hackers of trying to steal research on potential coronavirus vaccines.

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre said a Russian group linked to the country's intelligence services called APT29 has also attacked US and Canadian vaccine research organizations. The group is also called "Cozy Bear" or "the Dukes".

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"The NCSC assesses that APT29, also named the Dukes or Cozy Bear, almost certainly operate as part of Russian Intelligence Services," the National Cyber Security Centre said.

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," UK's foreign minister asserted.

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

On Wednesday, the Russian military had announced the vaccine it had developed was "safe" after conducting clinical trials since June 18. The Russian defence ministry said it expects clinical trials to be fully completed by the end of July.

Russian military researchers worked with scientists at the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow to come up with the vaccine. The Russian military added that the vaccine demonstrated "safety and good tolerability".