Russia made claims of the first Covid-19 vaccine recently, though the fact was proved otherwise. With allegations of hacking also coming, the incident added to Russia’s history of hacking and interference.
Crux of the Matter
Russian Vaccine Claims
Russia recently claimed success in finding the Covid-19 vaccine and declared it the “first vaccine” of Coronavirus in the world.
Sechenov University has successfully completed tests on volunteers of the world’s first vaccine against Covid-19. The vaccine is safe.Russian Embassy in India
How True Is It?
Only the Phase-I of the Covid-19 vaccine trials has been completed in Russia. Phase-I involves administering the vaccine to a small group of people – 30 to 80 – to evaluate drug’s safety and toxicity at different levels of doses. To compound the troubles, Russians are facing the allegation of “hacking” from the UK, Canada, and the US.
In its latest statement, the British National Cyber Security Centre claimed that APT29, a Russian hacking group, also allegedly a part of the Russian intelligence, attempted to steal data of the Covid-19 vaccine development research.
It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic.Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, the UK
Russia has denied the claims, labeling them as “nonsense” in its official statement.
Russian History Of Hacking
Russian hackers, allegedly supported by its government, have hacked into other countries’ systems multiple times with different motives.
- 2007: Estonia, earlier under Soviet rule, planned to shift a Russia World War II memorial. However, Russia reportedly disabled Estonia’s internet and spread false images, which triggered violent protests.
- 2008: Russia invaded Georgia and reportedly hacked its internet system.
- 2014: Ukraine’s election commission was taken down 3 days prior to its national elections. Police reports claimed that the hackings were done to make the Pro-Russia candidate win.
- 2015: Attempts were made to hack into Germany’s parliamentary network. Germany blamed Russia for the attempts.
Every day I try to build a better relationship with Russia and on the other hand there is such hard evidence that Russian forces are doing this [the hackings].Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany
- 2015-16: The campaign of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party candidate, and other candidates were hacked multiple times. These hacks were reportedly done by Russia to aid Donald Trump in winning the 2016 Presidential elections in the US.
- 2016: Russian interference through cyber portals was alleged by politicians during the Brexit movement.
- 2019: Several pro-Russia propaganda and fake news portals were discovered in Poland by investigative journalists.
- Fancy Bear is a Russian cyberespionage group which is known to target government, military, and security organizations, especially NATO-aligned states. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has said with a medium level of confidence that it is associated with the Russian military intelligence agency GRU.
- Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund is one of the state extra-budgetary funds established to finance medical services to Russian citizens. The activities of the fund are governed by the Budget Code of Russia and Russian law.
- The financial crisis in Russia in 2014–2015 was the result of the sharp devaluation of the Russian ruble beginning in the second half of 2014. A decline in confidence in the Russian economy caused investors to sell off their Russian assets, which led to a decline in the value of the Russian ruble and sparked fears of a Russian financial crisis.
- Al Jazeera – UK, US, Canada accuse Russia of hacking virus vaccine trials
- The Guardian – What we know about Russia’s interference in the US election
- BBC – Angela Merkel says she is ‘pained’ by Russian hacking
- CNBC – When this country faced a suspected Russian cyberattack – it took some big steps to stop another
- NBC News – Timeline: Ten Years of Russian Cyber Attacks on Other Nations
- CNN – 2016 Presidential Campaign Hacking Fast Facts
- The Independent – Labour MP claims it’s ‘highly probable’ Russia interfered with Brexit referendum