The U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom on Thursday issued a joint advisory warning that a Russian cyber espionage group that is likely part of the country's intelligence apparatus is targeting organizations in the U.S., Canada and U.K. conducting research and vaccine development for COVID-19.
The Joint Cybersecurity Advisory said that APT29, which is also known as "the Dukes" or "Cozy Bear," is "almost certainly part of the Russian intelligence services" and is using custom malware that is "highly likely" being used "with the intention of stealing information and intellectual property relating to the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines."
The advisory also said that the U.S. National Security Agency agrees that APT29 is behind the espionage. It also said the espionage campaign will likely continue.
"APT29 is likely to continue to target organizations involved in COVID-19 vaccine research and development, as they seek to answer additional intelligence questions relating to the pandemic," the Joint Cybersecurity Advisory concluded.
Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement saying the committee has asked for briefings on the latest Russian espionage but also pointed out that President Trump has yet to "condemn" Russian leader Vladimir Putin for any of Russia's actions against the U.S. and its allies, including interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and poisoning of Russian dissidents in democratic countries.
"The only question remaining is whether Donald Trump will condemn this latest aggression by Putin's Russia, and if not, why not?" Schiff stated.