Oxford University Covid research lab hacked by cyber gang ‘looking to sell secrets’ – Mirror Online

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An Oxford University lab researching Covid has been targeted by a gang of cyber hackers.

A probe has been launched into the incident at the Division of Structural Biology – known as Strubi – by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

The breach is understood  to have taken place in the middle of this month.

It is feared the hackers were looking to sell on research secrets, and a hostile foreign power has not been ruled out, according to reports.

The university has, however, confirmed the attack had “no impact on any clinical research”.

The lab is independent from the Jenner Institute, which developed the Covid vaccine alongside AstraZeneca.

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A researcher in a laboratory at the Jenner Institute

The hack comes months after Downing Street said it was almost certain Russia had been behind an attempted breach at the institute while the jab was still under development.

In relation to the Strubi incident, a university spokesman told the Telegraph : “We have identified and contained the problem and are now investigating further.

“There has been no impact on any clinical research, as this is not conducted in the affected area.

vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes

“As is standard with such incidents, we have notified the National Cyber Security Centre and are working with them.”

Lab director Professor Sir David Stuart is currently at the forefront of a major study into protein structures of Covid-19.

Cyber security company Hold Security claimed it had been shown screenshots time stamped February 13 and 14 proving the hackers had gained access to Oxford’s computer systems, according to Forbes magazine.

These reportedly included the interfaces for machines used to prepare biochemical samples.

University of Surrey cybersecurity expert Professor Alan Woodward told the magazine it could be speculated the hackers were “searching for data” as it’s “difficult to see why they would want to sabotage research”.

He added it was likely an independent group who were speculatively looking to sell access to foreign nation states.

This content was originally published here.