UK Insists Russia Behind Coronavirus Cyberattack

  • On Thursday, western countries accused a group of hackers of being behind an attempt to steal ongoing research on a possible vaccine against the coronavirus.
  • Russia has already denied the accusations, insisting that it hasn’t been involved in any cyber attack. 
  • Earlier this year, US security services warned that Russia was again trying to influence the US presidential election.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said today that he was “absolutely convinced” that Russia had a hand in the recent cyber attack that aimed to steal research into a vaccine against the new coronavirus. It is something Moscow has already denied. Raab made his remarks in an interview with Sky News.

Dominic Rennie Raab is a British politician serving as First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since July 2019. A member of the Conservative Party, he has also been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Esher and Walton since 2010.

On Thursday, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada accused a group of hackers of being behind an attempt to steal ongoing research on a possible vaccine against the coronavirus, and said that the maneuver was “almost certainly by the Russian secret service.”

The Foreign Secretary stated: 

“We’ve seen this as part of a wider systematic approach to cyber taken by Russia. At a time the world is coming together to try and tackle Covid-19 and particularly trying to come up with a global solution for a vaccine, it is outrageous and reprehensible that the Russian government is engaged in this activity and so what we’re doing with our allies is making sure people know. We will do this now, you will see us holding Russia to account and making sure the world knows the nature of the reprehensible behaviour they are involved in.”

A recent joint operation with the US and Canada uncovered a “malicious campaign” to steal information uncovered by Britain’s top scientists on coronavirus, with targeted attacks linked to Russia since March. Britain said that it believes the attacks came from a group known at APT29– part of the Russian intelligence service.

Russia has already denied the accusations, insisting that it hasn’t been involved in any cyber attack. 

In an interview with BBC , the Russian ambassador in London, Andrei Kelin, stressed that the accusations “makes no sense,” and had heard of hackers for the first time through the British media. The ambassador also stressed that it is impossible to attribute acts of hacking to a particular country.

Relations between the UK and Russia are down since a former Russian secret agent was poisoned while in the UK, an act of which London blames Moscow. Russia denies any involvement, but the case has sparked a wave of expulsions of diplomats on both sides.

A COVID-19 vaccine is a hypothetical vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19). Although no vaccine has completed clinical trials, there are multiple attempts in progress to develop such a vaccine.

London also accused “Russian agents” of having attempted to disrupt the country’s December parliamentary elections by circulating documents about a possible trade agreement with the United States after the United Kingdom left the European Union.

In the same interview to the BBC , the ambassador denied the accusations that Moscow was keen on disrupting the Britain elections.

Russia on US Elections

Earlier this year, US security services warned that Russia was again trying to influence the US presidential election, to keep Trump in power, as was reported by The New York Times.

Members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee received the warning at a meeting with representatives of the secret services. The New York Times reported that five anonymous sources in Washington confirmed the information.

However, how the Kremlin was trying to achieve the said goal wasn’t revealed, according to the intelligence committee. 

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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