Coronavirus: Iran, Russia hackers target UK institutions to find vaccine secrets

The Iranian and Russian-linked hackers are said to have targeted both scientists and doctors at universities in the UK studying the virus. (Illustrative photo: Reuters)

Hackers from Iran and Russia have targeted British institutions and individuals currently working on producing vaccines and testing kits for the novel coronavirus, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

The Iranian and Russian-linked hackers are said to have targeted both scientists and doctors at universities in the UK studying the virus.

Officials at the National Cyber Security Centre called the attacks “utterly reprehensible,” the Daily Mail said.

So far, no attacks have been successful, according to the report.

A man wearing a protective suit and a face mask disinfects cars during the start of a drive-in cinema set up at the Milad Tower parking space, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, Iran. (Reuters)

A man wearing a protective suit and a face mask disinfects cars during the start of a drive-in cinema set up at the Milad Tower parking space, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, Iran. (Reuters)

Reuters reported last month that Iran-linked hackers attempted to break into the personal email accounts of staff at the World Health Organization during the coronavirus outbreak.

The hackers attempted to steal passwords from WHO staff by sending malicious messages designed to mimic Google web services to their personal email accounts, a common hacking technique known as “phishing.”

The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak in Iran rose by 47 over the past 24 hours to 6,203, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur confirmed on Sunday. Iran, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the outbreak, has a total of 97,424 cases of the coronavirus so far.

Russia, meanwhile, registered more than 10,600 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, marking a fresh one-day record increase.

(With agencies)

Read more:

Coronavirus: Russia registers more than 10,000 new infections, highest daily increase

Coronavirus: Iran’s death toll rises to 6,203 after 47 new cases reported

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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