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FBI Warns that Foreign Hackers Are Targeting COVID-19 Research Institutions

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A top FBI official said Thursday that foreign state-sponsored hackers have broken into COVID-19 research institutions.

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Tonya Ugoretz revealed the news during an online panel discussion hosted by the international think tank Aspen Institute, Reuters reports.

“We certainly have seen reconnaissance activity, and some intrusions, into some of those institutions, especially those that have publicly identified themselves as working on COVID-related research,” Ugoretz said.

Organizations that have publicly unveil their research efforts “make them a mark for other nation-states that are interested in gleaning details about what exactly they’re doing and maybe even stealing proprietary information that those institutions have,” Ugortez said.

While it’s not unusual for foreign state-backed hackers to target the biopharmaceutical industry, the cyber invasions are “certainly heightened during the crisis.”


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