US leading COVID-19 vaccine developer falls victim to cyberattack


The cybercriminal group, known for its attacks on healthcare facilities, attacked the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with ransomware. The university administration confirmed to Bloomberg reporters that it was the victim of an “illegal invasion,” but did not specify which part of the IT infrastructure was damaged.

UCSF experts are leaders in the United States in the field of antibody testing and the development of treatment for coronavirus infection. According to Peter Farley, head of the university’s public relations department, studies involving patients were not affected by the cyber attack. The UCSF administration reported the incident to law enforcement and turned to cybersecurity experts for help.

“With their help, we conduct a thorough assessment of the incident, including finding out what information could have been compromised,” Fairley said, adding that he could not disclose any details while the investigation was ongoing.

It seems that the attackers encrypted the UCSF data and demanded a ransom for their recovery. Payment must be made before June 8 this year, and in case of non-payment the extortionists promised to publish the “secret data” of the UCSF. How much the cybercriminals demanded and what extortionate program was used is not specified. Presumably, the university could become a victim of the Netwalker extortion software, which has been actively used by cybercriminals since September last year.


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