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Russian, North Korean hacker groups targeted COVID-19 research companies in India, elsewhere: Microsoft

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State-backed actors from Russia and North Korea have launched cyber attacks against at least seven companies researching COVID-19 vaccines and treatments in India, USA, Canada, France and South Korea, Microsoft announced on November 13. Of these companies, one is a clinical research organisation involved in trials while another has developed a COVID-19 test. A number of targets have government contracts or investments for COVID-19 related work, Microsoft said. We have reached out to Microsoft to know which Indian companies were targeted. Who is behind the attack? Three nation-state actors — one from Russia (Strontium, also known as Fancy Bear, APT 28, Pawn Storm) and two from North Korea (Zinc, also known as Lazarus and Hidden Group; and Cerium). The modus operandi: As per Microsoft, the three advanced persistent threat (APT) groups used different ways to target companies: Strontium used password…

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