Review of the most interesting events in the world of information security related to COVID-19: July 27, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has long ceased to be an exclusively health problem, and now affects all aspects of the life of modern society. Read about the news in the world of cybersecurity over the past week, one way or another related to the coronavirus pandemic, read our review.
On Tuesday, July 20, the leader of the Republicans in the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, presented a bill promised a week earlier that would punish foreign hackers trying to steal data on the development of a coronavirus vaccine from American organizations. The document was developed in the wake of accusations against Russia, China and Iran in cyberattacks on organizations involved in the development and testing of treatment for coronavirus infection. In particular, the bill gives the US President the power to block the property of foreign citizens behind cyber attacks and prohibit their entry into the United States.
Last week, the US Department of Justice filed charges against two Chinese hackers. Chinese citizens are accused of stealing confidential materials on the development and testing of vaccines against COVID-19 from American technology and biotechnology companies.
Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiaoyu, 33, have been carrying out malicious activities for years, and during that time they have stolen terabytes of data from many companies. With the outbreak of the pandemic, they also included organizations working on the development of a vaccine against coronavirus in the list of their victims.
According to the indictment, attackers infiltrated the networks of targeted companies through known vulnerabilities in popular web server software, web application development kits, and collaboration software. In some cases, they exploited newly disclosed vulnerabilities that the victims had not yet had time to fix.
Not without reports of security issues with the latest COVID-19 contact tracking app last week. Engineer Frédéric Rechtenstein has discovered dangerous vulnerabilities in a South Korean mobile application that allow attackers to learn names, real-time location information and other information about people in quarantine. Hackers can also fake data in such a way that the user allegedly violates the quarantine conditions.
Last week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates debunked one of the most popular conspiracy theories regarding the origin of the coronavirus. According to him, he has nothing to do with the pandemic and, moreover, such assumptions upset him. Gates recalled that his foundation has donated a large amount of money to fight COVID-19.