Raab condemns hostile coronavirus cyber actors

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has called for an end to cyber attacks by hostile actors who are using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to carry out malicious cyber activity.

Raab’s warning follows a joint advisory by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the US’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security agency (CISA) exposing malicious cyber campaigns targeting international healthcare and medical research organisations involved in the coronavirus response, and giving advice on how to stay safe online.

The NCSC has identified that an increasing number of malicious cyber actors are exploiting the current coronavirus pandemic for their own objectives. APT groups and cyber criminals are targeting individuals, small and medium-size businesses and large organisations with coronavirus related scams and phishing emails.

The NCSC has advised staff at healthcare and medical research organisations to change and strengthen passwords that could be easily guessed and implement two-factor authentication to reduce the threat of compromises.

Raab said: “It is completely unacceptable that malicious cyber actors are targeting those working to overcome the coronavirus pandemic around the world, from experts working on the global health response to hospitals and healthcare systems. The effects of these cyber attacks are potentially life-threatening as they disrupt and put pressure on organisations and individuals working hard to save lives. The UK will continue to counter those who conduct reckless cyber attacks for their own malicious ends. We are working closely with our allies to hold the perpetrators to account and deter further malicious cyber activity around the world.”


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