The US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) warns of ransomware attacks on COVID-19 vaccine research organizations.
The US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a noticed to warn financial institutions of ransomware attacks aimed at COVID-19 vaccine research organizations.
“The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is issuing this Notice to alert financial institutions about the potential for fraud, ransomware attacks, or similar types of criminal activity related to COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution.” reads the FinCEN notice.
“FinCEN is aware of ransomware directly targeting vaccine research, and FinCEN asks financial institutions to stay alert to ransomware targeting vaccine delivery operations as well as the supply chains required to manufacture the vaccines,”
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued two emergency use COVID-19 vaccine authorizations.
This Notice also provides instructions for filing Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) regarding any suspicious activity related to COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution.
FinCEN’s notice also warn of COVID-19 vaccine frauds, including the sale of unapproved and illegally marketed vaccines, the sale of fake vaccines, and illegal diversion of legitimate vaccines.
FinCEN urges financial institutions to remain vigilant on ransomware attacks targeting COVID-19 vaccine delivery operations as well as the supply chains the development of the vaccines. Financial institutions and their customers should also be alert to phishing schemes luring victims with fraudulent information about COVID-19 vaccines
FinCEN already issued an Advisory on Ransomware in October that alerted financial institutions to trends, typologies, and potential indicators of ransomware and associated money laundering activities.
Other international bodies issued similar warnings, including INTERPOL and Europol in the past three months.
Cybercriminals have been very quick in devising modi operandi and tools to exploit the current crisis.” reads the report published by the Europol.
“New and adapted attacks appeared almost immediately from the onset of the crisis and have been among the most visible types of criminality during the COVID-19 pandemic. In part, this is due to our reliance on digital and online solutions during the lockdown to work remotely and maintain contacts with colleagues, friends and family.”
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