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Report: Hackers target Israeli researchers working on coronavirus vaccine

Channel 12 says attackers sought to disrupt process not steal data. but efforts resulted in little to no actual harm; incident apparently came amid massive hacking effort, which saw Israeli websites changed to show fake images and videos of Tel Aviv in flames

i24NEWS |
Published: 05.26.20 , 18:52

Israeli labs working on possible vaccines for COVID-19 coronavirus came under a cyber attack last week, Channel 12 television reported Tuesday.
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  • According to the report, the attackers sought to disrupt the research process rather than steal any data or findings.

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    (Photo: Shaul Golan)

    However, their efforts have resulted in little to no actual harm, the broadcaster reported.
    The attack apparently came amid another cyber campaign targeting Israeli websites, which saw hackers deface those with doctored images and videos depicting a battered and drowning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Tel Aviv going up in flames.
    The videos came with a message: “The countdown of Israel destruction has begun since a long time ago.”
    The cyber intrusions came ahead of the Quds (Jerusalem) Day celebrations in Iran, held annually on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
    התקפת סייבר על אתרים ישראליםהתקפת סייבר על אתרים ישראלים
    A cyber attack saw Israeli websites have their content replaced by images of a battered and drowning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a burning Tel Aviv
    Commemorated with various anti-Semitic and anti-American displays, this day also usually sees an uptick in pro-Iran hacker activity.
    As source said in March that Israel had begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine prototype on rodents at its bio-chemical defense laboratory.
    In a statement, Netanyahu's office said the director of the Israel Institute for Biological Research, Shmuel Shapira, had informed him of "significant progress" in designing a vaccine prototype and that the institute "is now preparing a model for commencing an animal trial."
    Reuters contributed to this report

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