Vladimir Putin and his Russian government are true, insidious villains – there is little doubt about that – but their latest offensive online maneuver may just be their most dastardly yet.
As the world faces an unprecedented pandemic, in which the United States is the clear epicenter at the moment, these Kremlin cronies are taking aim at the very people who are trying to save us all from COVID-19.
Russian spies are targeting organisations trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, US and Canada, security services have warned.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers “almost certainly” operated as “part of Russian intelligence services”.
It did not specify which organisations had been targeted, or whether any information had been stolen.
The reaction from the British government has been swift and stern.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “It is completely unacceptable that the Russian intelligence services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behaviour, the UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.”
Russia has predictably denied the accusations, as they have done so many times in the past in the face of overwhelming evidence.
The specific group being blamed has been active since 2014, and it well known to cybersecurity experts the world over.
Become an insider!
Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.