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Hackers Serving Russia and North Korea Attacked Companies Involved in COVID-19 Investigation, According to Microsoft



According to information made public by Microsoft, the company has detected multiple cyberattacks launched by state actors (that is, by 'hackers' at the service of governments) and their objective would have been companies involved in one of the central issues of the present in recent months: COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research.



The Redmond company claimed that the attacks they detected came from an attacker linked to Russia (named Strontium) and two from North Korea (called Zinc and Cerium); While the companies attacked would originate from the United States, France, Canada, South Korea and India.



The credentials of users linked to biomedical companies, a juicy target for cyber attackers



The preferred techniques of the former are brute force attacks aimed at credential theft, while the remaining two usually steal these using phishing tactics. Microsoft claims that most attacks were stopped by the security protections built into its products:




"We have notified [los ataques] to all affected organizations and where they have been successful, we have offered our help. "








A ransomware attack on ERT, which sells software for clinical trials, prompted some researchers to go back to pencil and paper





'Zinc' it is also known as Lazarus Group, and it is about a group of hackers that a few years ago was linked to the development of the destructive WannaCry ransomware, as well as to various attacks linked to cryptocurrency wallets supposedly dedicated to financing the juche regime of Kim Jong-Un.



The moment chosen by Microsoft to make this information public, however, was not accidental: Brad Smith, president of the company, addresses government representatives today at the Paris Peace Forum in order to demand that states take responsibility for protecting companies in the medical sector against cyberattacks.



In the words of Tom Burt, a director of the company,




"Two global issues will be those that shape people's memories of this historic stage: the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased use of the Internet by malicious actors to destabilize society."







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