Thursday, March 4, 2021

Hackers targeting Covid-19 vaccine supply chain, IBM warns

IBM says the precision of the operation signals 'the potential hallmarks of nation-state tradecraft'.

Other News

‘Everything will be ok’: Myanmar mourns teen killed protesting

Before going to a demonstration this week, Kyal Sin listed her blood type on her Facebook page, her phone number, and said her organs were available for donation if anything were to happen to her.

Kerajaan pertimbang benar rentas negeri berstatus PKPP

Setakat ini, hanya Sabah sahaja negeri yang masih mengekalkan larangan rentas daerah.

In India, 71kg of garbage found in stray cow’s stomach

Previous surgeries done by the People For Animals Trust Faridabad organisation have found up to 50kg of waste in cows' stomachs.

Kes baru Covid-19 kembali lepasi 2,000, catat angka 2,063

5 kematian akibat Covid-19 dicatat hari ini.

New cases back over 2,000 but recoveries still ahead

2,063 new cases, 2,922 recoveries.

Hackers are targeting the coronavirus vaccine supply chain, IBM warned Thursday, saying it had uncovered a series of cyber attacks against companies involved in the effort to distribute doses around the world.

It was “unclear” if the attacks were successful, IBM said, adding that they were potentially carried out by state actors.

“Our team recently uncovered a global phishing campaign targeting organisations associated with a Covid-19 cold chain,” Claire Zaboeva and Melissa Frydrych, analysts for IBM X-Force, a cyber security working group, wrote in a blog post.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union was one target, as were energy and IT companies based in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Taiwan.

The hackers impersonated an executive from Haier Biomedical, a Chinese-owned cold chain supply company working with the World Health Organization and the United Nations, IBM said.

“Disguised as this employee, the adversary sent phishing emails to organisations believed to be providers of material support to meet transportation needs within the Covid-19 cold chain,” Zaboeva and Frydrych wrote.

The purpose “may have been to harvest credentials, possibly to gain future unauthorised access to corporate networks and sensitive information relating to the Covid-19 vaccine distribution”.

Some of the vaccines being developed against Covid-19 must be stored at temperatures well below that of a normal fridge. Distribution, therefore, requires specialised logistics companies such as Haier Biomedical.

IBM said it could not identify those behind the attacks – but that the precision of the operation signals “the potential hallmarks of nation-state tradecraft”.

“Without a clear path to a cash-out, cyber criminals are unlikely to devote the time and resources required to execute such a calculated operation with so many interlinked and globally distributed targets,” Zaboeva and Frydrych wrote.

The US federal cyber security agency, Cisa, said the IBM report should be taken seriously by organisations involved in the vaccine supply chain.

“Cisa encourages all organisations involved in vaccine storage and transport to harden attack surfaces, particularly in cold storage operation, and remain vigilant against all activity in this space,” Josh Corman, a Cisa strategist, told AFP.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

New cases back over 2,000 but recoveries still ahead

2,063 new cases, 2,922 recoveries.

UK, others agree to fast-track adapted Covid-19 vaccines

The agreement will avert the need for lengthy clinical studies if authorised vaccines are adapted in future, as long as the manufacturers offer 'robust evidence' of their potency and safety.

Australia extends international flight ban for 3 more months

Anyone hoping to enter Australia will have longer to wait as arrivals are limited to the capacity of mandatory quarantine hotels.

Brazil reports second straight day of record Covid-19 deaths

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro faces sharp criticism for downplaying the new coronavirus, flouting expert advice on containing it with lockdowns and face masks, and over his government's slow pace in vaccinating the population.

AstraZeneca vaccine effective in over-80s, study shows

Stephen Evans, professor of Pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says the results 'provide further evidence that the vaccines are effective both in an older age group less studied in the trials'.