January 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 18

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January 15, 2021

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ICE COLD MOVE: US Government Warns of Cybercriminals Targeting Cold Supply Chain for COVID-19 Vaccine

No supply chain is immune from cyberattacks.  This includes, unfortunately, in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Yesterday the US Homeland Security Department issued a warning that a series of cyberattacks is underway aimed at the companies and government organizations that will be distributing coronavirus vaccines around the world.  Specifically, the attacks target the COVID-19 cold chain (an integral part of delivering and storing a vaccine at safe temperatures).

The warning cautions that “[i]mpersonating a biomedical company, cyber actors are sending phishing and spearphishing emails to executives and global organizations involved in vaccine storage and transport to harvest account credentials.  The emails have been posed as requests for quotations for participation in a vaccine program.”  It is unclear at this time whether these attacks are for purposes of stealing the technology for keeping the vaccines refrigerated in transit or for sabotaging distribution of the vaccine.

Josh Corman, the chief strategist for healthcare at the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) commented that this underscored the need for all “all organizations involved in vaccine storage and transport to harden attack surfaces, particularly in cold storage operation, and remain vigilant against all activity in this space.”

Although this warning was specific to the COVID cold supply chain, all organizations should take note as the core strategies utilized by cybercriminals cut across industries. 

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© Copyright 2020 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 339
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About this Author

Kristin L. Bryan Litigation Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Cleveland, OH & New York, NY
Senior Associate

Kristin Bryan is a litigator experienced in the efficient resolution of contract, commercial and complex business disputes, including multidistrict litigation and putative class actions, in courts nationwide.

She has successfully represented Fortune 15 clients in high-stakes cases involving a wide range of subject matters.

As a natural extension of her experience litigating data privacy disputes, Kristin is also experienced in providing business-oriented privacy advice to a wide range of clients, with a particular focus on companies handling customers’ personal data. In this...

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