National Cyber Security Centre
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NCSC response to speculation about cyber attacks on UK coronavirus research

NCSC statement on the media reports suggesting that hackers have tried to break into the systems of researchers AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson for the NCSC said:

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the National Cyber Security Centre’s top priority has been the cyber security and resilience of the UK’s health sector.

“This includes ongoing and proactive support to the vaccine research taking place at organisations in the UK, in order to reduce and mitigate the risks of cyber attacks impacting on their vital work.

“Working alongside our allies, the NCSC is committed to protecting our most critical assets, the health sector and crucial vaccine research and development against threats.”

Further information

  • The NCSC, which is a part of GCHQ, does not routinely give updates on operational matters.
  • Last spring, the NCSC and counterparts in the United States exposed malicious cyber campaigns targeting organisations involved in the coronavirus response.
  • In July, the UK and its allies exposed Russian attacks on coronavirus vaccine development.
  • It is vital that all organisations know how to secure their systems. Advice and guidance for businesses of all sizes can be found on the NCSC website.
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