Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

NATO Condemns Cyberattacks Against COVID-19 Responders

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) this week publicly condemned the malicious cyber-activities directed against COVID-19 responders.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) this week publicly condemned the malicious cyber-activities directed against COVID-19 responders.

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic started hitting countries worldwide, cybercriminals and nation-states have been leveraging the crisis to conduct malicious activities, and the number of attacks leveraging COVID-19 themes has increased thousands of times since February.

Over the past couple of months, there has been a surge in attacks targeting those who work in response to the pandemic. Last month, the United States and the United Kingdom issued an alert on government-sponsored attacks on healthcare bodies, pharmaceutical companies, academia, medical research organizations, and local governments.

Now, a month later, the North Atlantic Council issued a public statement condemning the “destabilizing and malicious cyber activities” targeting entities critical to the response against the COVID-19 pandemic, such as healthcare services, hospitals and research institutes.

“These deplorable activities and attacks endanger the lives of our citizens at a time when these critical sectors are needed most, and jeopardize our ability to overcome the pandemic as quickly as possible,” NATO said.

The organization also declared its support to those affected by malicious cyber-activities, noting it would remain ready to assist allies in their response to cyber incidents that affect essential services, including through the sharing of information.

“In line with their national responsibilities and competences, Allies are committed to protecting their critical infrastructure, building resilience and bolstering cyber defences, including through full implementation of NATO’s Cyber Defence Pledge,” the North Atlantic Council stated.

NATO also underlined its focus on cyber-defense, reaffirming commitment to use available capabilities to defend against and counter cyber threats, and to continue adapting to the cyber threat landscape, where both state and non-state actors operate, including those that are government-sponsored.

“We all stand to benefit from a rules-based, predictable, open, free, and secure cyberspace. NATO reiterates that international law applies in cyberspace and must be respected. All states have an important role to play in promoting and upholding voluntary norms of responsible state behavior and in countering destabilizing and malicious cyber activities,” NATO concludes.

Related: US and UK Warn of Adversaries Targeting COVID-19 Responders

Related: Criminals Quick to Exploit COVID-19 Crisis in Europe

Related: US Says Chinese Hacking Vaccine Research: Reports

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

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.

Cyberwarfare

Websites of German airports, administration bodies and banks were hit by DDoS attacks attributed to Russian hacker group Killnet

Cybercrime

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

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.

Management & Strategy

Industry professionals comment on the recent disruption of the Hive ransomware operation and its hacking by law enforcement.

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...