Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Chinese Hackers ‘Stole Data From Spanish Vaccine Labs’: Report

Chinese hackers have stolen information from Spanish laboratories working on a vaccine for Covid-19, El Pais newspaper reported Friday.

Chinese hackers have stolen information from Spanish laboratories working on a vaccine for Covid-19, El Pais newspaper reported Friday.

The report emerged as drug companies around the world race to produce an effective jab to counter a virus that has now killed more than 940,000 people and infected 30 million.

It was not clear what information was taken, when it happened, nor how important it was, with the paper citing sources privy to the attack.

Quoted in the article, Spain’s secret service chief Paz Esteban said hackers had mounted “a particularly virulent campaign targeting laboratories working on the search for a vaccine” not only in Spain but elsewhere.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Esteban who heads the CNI intelligence services, said there had been a “qualitative and quantitative” increase in attacks during lockdown, with hackers targeting “sensitive sectors such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals”.

Such attacks had multiplied in other countries involved in efforts to develop a vaccine, prompting an exchange of information between their respective spy services, she said.

Most attacks were carried out by hackers from China and Russia, often from state organisations, but also by criminal organisations and universities who trade in hacked data, security sources said.

But the attack in which Spanish data were stolen was launched by Chinese hackers, they said.

The CNI was not immediately available to comment on the report.

In July, a court in the US state of Washington charged two Chinese nationals with stealing terabytes of data from hundreds of computer systems all over the world, in some cases on behalf of Chinese government agencies.

The hacking, which took place over a decade, had more recently involved looking for vulnerabilities in the systems of firms developing Covid-19 vaccines, testing technology, and treatments, the US justice department said.

Spain was one of 11 countries named in the indictment as being targeted by the attacks.

Related: US Accuses Chinese Hackers in Targeting of COVID-19 Research

Related: Alleged Ripoff Report Hacker Extradited to United States

Related: Feds Unseal 2018 Indictment Charging Kazakh Man in Hacks

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Application Security

PayPal is alerting roughly 35,000 individuals that their accounts have been targeted in a credential stuffing campaign.

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.

Cybercrime

The degree of danger that may be introduced when adversaries start to use AI as an effective weapon of attack rather than a tool...