It said in a blog post on Friday that most of the attacks in recent months have been unsuccessful, but it did not provide information on how many successfully cracked or how severe the vulnerabilities were.
In announcing criminal charges in July, the US government said that hackers supported by the Chinese government have also been targeting vaccine manufacturers.
Microsoft said that most targets located in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the United States are “directly involved in research on vaccines and treatments against COVID-19.” It does not specify a target, but says that most vaccine candidates are available at all stages of clinical trials.
The company identified one of the state-backed hacker organizations, named Fancy Bear, a Russian military agent. The National Cyber Security Center of the United Kingdom stated in July that it was behind this intrusion attempt. The other two are North Korea’s Lazarus Group and Microsoft’s group called Cerium.
Most hacking efforts involve attempts to steal the login credentials of people associated with the target organization. Microsoft said the Lazarus Group is a recruiter, while Cerium targets spear phishing emails that are disguised as emails by representatives of the World Health Organization.
The blog post coincided with the appearance of Microsoft President Brad Smith at an international forum calling on countries to protect healthcare facilities from cyber attacks. This year, the Paris Peace Forum will be held online.
Since the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Pharmaceuticals announced earlier this week that preliminary data showed that its vaccine is 90% effective, optimism about the COVID-19 vaccine has increased.
At the same time, coronavirus cases have surged. In the United States, the daily death toll in the past two weeks has soared by more than 40%, averaging more than 1,100 people, the highest level in three months.
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