Cyber Threat Against COVID-19 Vaccine Supply-Chain Has Been Uncovered

With hopes beginning to rise around COVID-19 vaccine approval, Canadian’s should also be weary of an underlying risk arising just below the surface – cyberattacks around distribution. As you have likely seen, there are already concerns of threats gaining traction around the globe – with attacks targeting global coronavirus vaccine supply chains – calling for the need to urge cold-chain companies to remain vigilant and on high alert. IBM identified some very specific targets which illustrates that the threat is real and comes at a critical time.

Max Heinemeyer, Director of Threat Hunting for Darktrace had this to say about this attack:

2020 has seen an increase in digital supply chain attacks of this kind. Attacking the supply chain is often easier than going after the core target. This particular effort to disrupt vaccine research and development confirms that the barrier between the ‘cyber’ and ‘physical’ supply chains has all but dissolved – attacks today can start in the inbox and end up disrupting the delivery chain of a critical vaccine or service.

A single phishing attack is easy to conduct, but executing an orchestrated spear phishing campaign against high-profile targets like this shows a lot of sophistication. The attack appears broad and sophisticated – broader than typical cyber-crime campaigns that aim for quick monetization.

We can only speculate on the goals at this stage but information about the physical whereabouts of a vaccination that needs to be kept cold could be interesting for many nation states, and could potentially disrupt the cold chain.

The fact that this campaign has been ongoing for many months is concerning. Organizations need to get much better at detecting unusual digital activity at a far earlier stage, using cutting-edge defence technology – particularly artificial intelligence – across the entirety of their digital infrastructure. AI is necessary today given the sophistication and speed of the attacks that we are now witnessing, across a wide range of digital platforms and tools.

Clearly now that there is a vaccine that is close at hand, anyone involved in its distribution needs to be on guard for more of these attacks.

One Response to “Cyber Threat Against COVID-19 Vaccine Supply-Chain Has Been Uncovered”

  1. […] seems to be a trend as I’ve covered attacks like this before. Specifically, this one. And you should expect that more attacks like this are inbound. If they aren’t already […]

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