Some Japanese research institutions developing coronavirus vaccines have been hit by cyberattacks, apparently from China, in what are believed to be the first cases of their kind in the country, a U.S. information security firm said Monday.
Amid an intensifying race to develop vaccines against COVID-19, those bodies have been targeted by attacks since April but no reports of information leaks have been made, according to CrowdStrike.
The government’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity has urged drugmakers and research organizations to raise alert levels against such attempts to steal confidential information.
The U.S. firm did not disclose the names of the targeted institutions, but said it suspects the attacks have been made by a Chinese hacker group, based on the techniques employed.
The attacks involved sending emails attached with electronic files, which seemed to be related to the new virus but contained computer viruses, according to the company.