UK expects hacker attacks on COVID responders to last months: minister

LONDON (Reuters) - Sophisticated networks of hackers are targeting national and international organisations which are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Tuesday, calling them “particularly dangerous and venal”.

“There are various objectives and motivations that lie behind these attacks, from fraud on one hand to espionage, but they tend to be designed to steal bulk personal data, intellectual property and wider information that supports those aims,” Raab said at a news conference.

“They’re often linked with other state actors, and we expect this kind of predatory criminal behaviour to continue and to evolve over the coming weeks and months ahead, and we’re taking a range of measures to tackle that threat.”

Earlier, Britain and the United States issued a joint warning about cyber attacks during the pandemic.

Reporting by William James, Andy Bruce and Estelle Shirbon, Editing by Kylie MacLellan