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UK, US, Canada accuse Russia of hacking virus vaccine trials

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 10:15:54-04

LONDON (AP) - Britain, the United States and Canada say Russia is trying to steal information from researchers seeking a COVID-19 vaccine.

The three nations alleged Thursday that hacking group APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and which is believed to be part of the Russian intelligence service, is attacking academic and pharmaceutical coronavirus research institutions involved in vaccine development.

They say the persistent and ongoing attacks are seen as an effort to steal intellectual property, rather than to disrupt research. Britain’s National Cybersecurity Centre made the announcement, coordinated with authorities in the U.S. and Canada. It’s also unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin knew about the vaccine hacking, but officials believe such intelligence would be highly prized.