A Canadian federal agency is looking into possible security breaches at organizations that are involved with COVID-19 research.
“We’ve seen some compromises in research organizations that we’ve been helping to mitigate and we’re still continuing to look through what’s the root cause of those,” said Communications Security Establishment (CSE) Cyber Centre head Scott Jones.
Speaking to the Commons Industry committee in a recent meeting, Jones confirmed that the CSE is collaborating with the affected organizations to determine whether the attempts were malicious in nature, who the perpetrators are, where the attacks came from, and whether the attacks were successful or not.
CBC News reported that it is currently not clear where or when the alleged security compromises happened, or whether they are state-sponsored.
News of the possible breaches comes after the CSE released a statement together with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service last week, which warned of foreign espionage targeting Canadian agencies involved in pandemic response.
“The Communications Security Establishment has assessed that it is near certain that state-sponsored actors have shifted their focus during the pandemic and that Canadian intellectual property represents a valuable target,” the joint statement said.
The statement also said that CSE’s Cyber Centre had assessed that the pandemic “presents an elevated level of risk to the cyber security of Canadian health organizations involved in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”