Officials said a group known as APT29 — also known as “Cozy Bear” — was likely to blame for the attack. They said the group, which is believed to be associated with Russian intelligence, used spear phishing and custom malware to target vaccine researchers.
So they were hacking account passwords via phishing? What a joke. I would never reply to any phish email about an account
at my place of work since it has no commonality with bank or similar accounts. I know that I will never receive any account
email from some "admin" for these accounts. In university environments, the "admin" is more than likely someone in your own
research group. Even if they can phish out some VPN password to reach the university, they still do not have the passwords
to the computers on the university network.
Again, electronic spying on vaccine research is inane. The technological devil is in the physical realm of vaccine strains and
laboratory equipment. The data they can get that is in the form of pre-prints on some lab-associate computer or email is
already public domain.
I find it funny how this propaganda is tuned to the expectations of the average Winblows PC users. "Malware".
The computers that are used to run lab equipment are not even running Winblows but run Linux. Winblows is a consumer
POS that is not useful for real time data acquisition and direct access to hardware. That latter is why people who design satellite
instruments still use DOS. DOS allows them direct hardware control. Winblows doesn't. Accessing lab computers is rather
useless anyway since only the processed data has any value. The hackers are not going to have full control of a lab with
a computer and lab equipment computers are not the processing nodes for the data.