Microsoft denounces cyber attacks targeting research laboratories


Microsoft headquarters in Silicon Valley in Mountain View (California).
Microsoft headquarters in Silicon Valley in Mountain View (California). (SMITH COLLECTION / GADO / PHOTO ARCHIVE)

For months, several pharmaceutical companies have been targeted by cyber attacks in several countries. According to the Microsoft company, seven companies located in France, the United States, Canada, India and South Korea are currently experiencing data theft attempts.

Several techniques are used. First, there are password searches and brute force login attempts – using software that tests all possibilities. There are also many phishing attacks, through bogus job ads or messages in which hackers pose as representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO). big economic stake. The goal could therefore be to steal information or simply to hold back laboratories in their discoveries.


In its last note on the subject, Microsoft clearly designates several known hacker groups. First, a Russian-based group, Strontium, also known as APT28 and Fancy Bear, which already stood out in the 2016 US presidential election with pro-Trump disinformation campaigns. North Korea is also targeted, with two groups of pirates, known as Zinc and Cerium. Last May, the FBI also warned that Chinese hackers were very active.

Microsoft clearly accuses states of either being complicit or doing nothing to fight this cybercrime. Note that the majority of hacking attempts against pharmaceutical companies have been blocked.



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