Response to Russia attack ‘under review’, says security minister

The Government will keep its response to the Russian attack on vaccine research centres “under review”, the security minister said today, as he confirmed it was “an ongoing incident”. 

James Brokenshire told Sky News there was “no evidence of damage or harm” as a result of the hack but said it was “still completely unacceptable” for Russian actors to have penetrated the UK’s systems in this way, at a time when international partners should be “pulling together” to stop coronavirus.

Mr Brokenshire said insisted the UK was “one of the best protected countries” against these kinds of attacks, but said the Government was hoping to encourage people to “raise their guard” by “taking some very simple steps in terms of their own systems.”

The minister then told BBC Breakfast there was “no evidence” Russia had succeeded in stealing any information from pharmaceutical companies developing a Covid-19 vaccine in a series of co-ordinated cyber attacks.

“Obviously we know these groups have been able to penetrate systems and to look around and assess what information is there,” he added. “This is an ongoing incident, which is why we have put this alert out there, why there is mitigation that has been put in place.”

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