The hackers attempted to access sensitive data related to the UK’s coronavirus response, including work that the country has done to develop a vaccine. The hacking attempts weren’t overly sophisticated. In most instances, the hackers tried to phish people with misleading links and take advantage of weak passwords. However, they were serious enough that the agency’s cybersecurity arm, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has been working with hospitals and research labs to protect them. The agency has also been helping NHS make its contact-tracing app “as secure as possible.” 

While we’re mostly used to seeing hackers doing their best to upset elections, it’s easy to imagine why they would also be interested in a country’s coronavirus efforts. There’s a lot to gain both financially and politically for any power that can get ahead in the vaccine race.