Russian spies are targeting organizations trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, US, and Canada, security services have warned.


The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers “almost certainly” operated as “part of Russian intelligence services”.


It did not specify which organizations had been targeted, or whether any information had been stolen. But it said vaccine research had not been hindered by the hackers.


The UK, US, and Canadian agencies said the hackers had exploited software flaws to get access to vulnerable computer systems and had used malware called WellMess and WellMail to upload and download files from infected machines.


They are also said to have tricked individuals into handing over login credentials with spear-phishing attacks. Russia has denied responsibility.


“We do not have information about who may have hacked into pharmaceutical companies and research centres in Great Britain. We can say one thing – Russia has nothing at all to do with these attempts,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Putin, according to the Tass news agency.



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