A string of alerts, including from the Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, along with public warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have brought sharp focus to a serious public health threat. Malign cyber actors are targeting the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain, as well as research and development. Several of these actors are believed to be affiliated with nation states. In addition to targeting valuable intellectual property around the vaccine, the hackers seek to disrupt the vaccine delivery process to extort money from targeted organizations, such as in a ransomware attacks. They deploy different techniques, ranging in sophistication, including sending vaccine-themed phishing and spearphishing emails to organizations involved in vaccine storage and transport, to exploiting vulnerabilities in technical architecture, to gaining access through less protected business partners.
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