Hackers targeting COVID-19 researchers, FBI warns

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The FBI issued a warning April 16 to companies focused on research into COVID-19 treatments of foreign government hackers, according to Reuters.

"We certainly have seen reconnaissance activity, and some intrusions, into some of those institutions, especially those that have publicly identified themselves as working on COVID-related research," said FBI Deputy Assistant Director Tonya Ugoretz, Reuters reports.

State-backed hackers have been attempting to infiltrate healthcare and research institutions, Ms. Ugoretz confirmed. While these hackers typically target biopharmaceutical industry players, "it's certainly heightened during this crisis," she said.

"Medical research organizations and those who work for them should be vigilant against threat actors seeking to steal intellectual property or other sensitive data related to America's response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, told Reuters. "Now is the time to protect the critical research you're conducting."


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