FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Roundup: July 14th – July 20th

Hey there, FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. We’re back with another edition of our weekly roundup where we deliver the most recent comings and goings of the cybersecurity world.

This week we’re dealing with Russian hackers targeting COVID-19 vaccine research teams, the U.K. admitting that their COVID test-and-trace program breaks privacy laws, and how multiple high-profile figures on Twitter have had their accounts hacked in a massive bitcoin scam.

According to recent reports, intelligence agencies believe Russian hacker group, APT29, has been trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research in Canada, the U.K., and the US.

APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and the Dukes, is said to be linked to Russian intelligence services, and have also been previously accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 U.S. election.

The recent attacks were likely undertaken to steal information related to the development and testing of the COVID-19 vaccines, and officials say there is a high possibility of further attempts in the future, as several countries continue to search for vital information related to the ongoing pandemic.

Curious? You can read up on the recent attack here.

In more COVID-19 related news, the U.K. has been the latest country to admit that its coronavirus test-and-trace system breaks the UK and European data protection law.

After being pressured by various privacy campaigns, the U.K. has acknowledged that it’s test-and-trace system has been operating without a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) – meaning it’s been operating unlawfully since its initial launch on May 28th, 2020.

This situation has come to light after individual contractors were revealed to be sharing patient data on social media in hopes of receiving help from colleagues. And while the government admits that the system itself was initially rushed out, little changes have been made to accommodate the calls for heightened data security.

You can read into the situation here.

If you’ve been on Twitter over the past few days, you may have noticed various high-profile accounts tweeting about Bitcoin donations which would be directed to charity – this, however, was simply a large-scale scam which ended up impacting several celebrity accounts.

Individuals such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Kanye West were all affected by the hack – the scammers posted the same message on each account, promising users who give Bitcoin to an account listed in the tweets double their payment in return.

And while Twitter made attempts to squash the scam by banning verified accounts from making new tweets, the scammers appeared to have received 355 donations, totalling $118,365.

You can read up the situation here!

That’s all for this week’s roundup folks! We hope you’re staying safe with all that’s going on, especially when it comes to your cybersecurity!