A “cyber espionage group” associated with the Russian intelligence services has attempted to hack into coronavirus vaccine research in the US, Britain and Canada, according to a report from U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center.

The U.S. National Security Agency agreed with that report.

“Throughout 2020, APT29 has targeted various organisations involved in COVID-19 vaccine development in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, highly likely with the intention of stealing information and intellectual property relating to the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines,” the NCSC report says.

APT29 is one of the Russian Intelligence Service entities identified in the FBI’s assessment of malicious cyber activity in the 2016 presidential election.

“It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” Dominic Raab, the U.K.’s Foreign Secretary said in response to the advisory. “While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behaviour, the UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.

“The UK will continue to counter those conducting such cyber attacks, and work with our allies to hold perpetrators to account,” he added.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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