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May 22, 2020

FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Issue Alert

On May 13, the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a public service announcement regarding the cyberattacks against research organizations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FBI is investigating the targeting and compromise of U.S. research organizations conducting COVID-19-related research by actors associated with the People's Republic of China. These actors have been observed attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research. Research organizations are urged to strengthen their cybersecurity practices by patching all systems for critical vulnerabilities, prioritizing timely patching for known vulnerabilities of internet-connected servers and software processing internet data, improving credential requirements, and requiring multi-factor authentication.