Security minister: UK ‘vigilant’ to suspected Russian cyber attacks

Friday, July 17, 2020

Security minster James Brokenshire has condemned Russia’s suspected attempt to hack data from scientists seeking to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

According to him, the National Cyber Security Centre is 95 per cent certain that the cyber attacks against labs were carried out by the Russian state.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, the Conservative MP said: “[It is] completely unacceptable, absolutely appalling that the Russian state should be involved in this way.

“Therefore we’ve called it out, we’ve set this advisory from our experts - the National Cyber Security Centre - in terms of setting out steps that those who may be affected can take, and therefore being vigilant against this threat and this risk.”

The accusations against Russia came in a joint warning between Britain, the United States and Canada yesterday regarding the activities of a group of hackers known as APT29.

It said they were part of a “malicious campaign” targeting pharmaceutical and academic institutions engaged in research into Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics around the world.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also accused “Russian actors” of trying to “interfere” in last year’s general election.

He said Russians had been responsible for “amplifying” leaked documents used by Labour during the campaign to claim the Conservatives were preparing to “sell off” the NHS to US pharmaceutical companies.

However, Mr Raab stopped short of linking their activities to the Russian state.

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