Russia based and backed hackers have been trying to steal information about the research on vaccines against the novel cooronavirus with the pandemic surging again across the world, alleged the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
So far more than 585,000 people have been killed so far while infecting a total of more than 13.6 million people. The pandemic has also crippled the global economy pushing it into a deep recession since it had emerged late last year. The hopes of an entire world now are pinned to vaccines to bring an end to the pandemic.
In the latest signs of positivity in the fight against the virus, an Oxford University trial of a vaccine had shown its prototype vaccine generated an immune response against the virus, according to reports published in the British media on Thursday.
However hours after this positive bit of news, allegations that a hacking group called APT29 had targeted British labs that were engaged in vaccine research with the aim to “steal valuable intellectual property”, were leveled by UK’s National Cyber Security Centre,
It was “almost certain (95%+) that APT29 are part of the Russian Intelligence Services” and the targeting of researchers by it was “highly likely (80-90%)” to “collect information on COVID-19 vaccine research”, the agency said.
In a joint security advisory, Russia was accused for the same by the US, UK and Canada.
The accusations were denied by Russia. “Russia has nothing to do with these attempts,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
The great need for a vaccine to curb the pandemic was reflected once again as Brazil, the second hardest hit country in the world, reported surpassing the dubious two million coronavirus case milestone while India, the third worst affected country of the pandemic, surpassing one million positive cases.
There have so far been more than 76,000 deaths in Brazil and over 25,000 in India.
But experts have estimated that the actual number of infections in Brazil, largest economy of Latin America and with a population of more than 209 million, could be ten times more than reported while the number of deaths because of Covid-19 could be twice as much of what has been reported.
By far, the highest number of deaths and infections because of the pandemic has been recorded in the United States with more than 67,000 new cases in the last 24 hours.
Florida is the country’s new epicentre, and is shaping up as a key battleground in a partisan-tinged fight playing out nationally over reopening schools in the fall.
South Asia is fast becoming the next epicenter, the Red Cross has warned.
Lockdowns and restrictions have also been re-imposed in a number of countries because of the resurgence of the pandemic including in Spain, where a northeastern area of the country has been p[laced under lockdown once again.
Agreements on imposing tougher, more localised lockdowns to contain fresh outbreaks of Cvoid-19 have been arrived at by Germany’s federal and regional governments.
(Adapted form TheHindustanTimes.com)