Supercomputers working on COVID-19 research are the latest target for hackers, rendering a number of them offline.
These supercomputers are located in Europe. Among those that hackers target are located in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland. Security researchers are still not sure whether these attacks are linked.
The identity of the perpetrators are still unknown. However, researchers claim that their initial investigation points to a possible Russian origin.
It is still not clear what the motives of the hackers are. However, people maintaining these computers claim that no significant damage were done. They surmise that the main goal is either to steal data or just slow down the research.
An employee says:
“So the attackers wanted to either gather intellectual property or just slow down efforts to battle Covid.”
The Swiss National Supercomputing Center is one of the many facilities that hackers try to disrupt. The hack forced the administrators to temporarily halt access to these facilities. They add that work into restoring normal operation is already underway.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology recently allow the computer to launch a study regarding COVID-19. The main aim of the study is to break down a small membrane protein that coats the COVID-19 virus.
Data centres in UK, Spain, Germany and Switzerland confirm intrusions
— Techerati (@The_Techerati) May 18, 2020
In the United Kingdom, the National Supercomputing Service reports that its system also experience slowdown. Initial reports reveal that some unknown parties are trying to gain access to their system.
Simply known as the ARCHER, the system is working into various simulations on the spread of coronavirus. Five days after the initial report, ARCHER administrators are still working to restore its services online.
Supercomputers against COVID-19
As the the world struggles to find a cure for COVID-19, supercomputers are coming to their aid. These powerful pieces of hardware are capable of running simulations to help medical experts understand how the virus works. They can also help in searching for potential cure and treatments.
Supercomputers around the world are working into possibly finding a cure for COVID-19. There are a number of simulations in order to find a cure.
One simulation involves gathering data about the virus and finding its vulnerabilities. There is also another study that simulates existing drugs that can possibly cure the virus.
Supercomputers are always a prime target for hackers. They are targets because of their work on defense, medicine, and other sophisticated scientific researches. For many years, state-sponsored agents are among those that target such facilities.
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