Two large global firms that are reported to have ties with COVID-19 response efforts appear to have been hit with cyber-attacks this previous week.
Miltenyi Biotec is a Germany based global biotech firm with offices in 73 countries, including several office in the US, and last week they reported a malware attack that caused a system outage.
Miltenyi is responsible for supplying SARS-CoV-2 antigens for research firms tasked with working on COVID-19 treatments.
The attack on Miltenyi Biotec happened two weeks ago and caused issues with their order and operations processes which included telephone and email communications.
Since then the company has fully restored its operations.
“Rest assured, all necessary measures have now been taken to contain the issue and recover all affected systems. Based on our current knowledge, we have no indication that the malware has been inadvertently distributed to customers or partners,” officials said in a statement.
The second company hit with a cyber attack is Americold, which is a cold storage giant responsible for providing storage for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
A Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed the cybersecurity incident struck the network of Americold on November 16.
Officials said they took immediate action to contain the incident and launched its business continuity plans to maintain operations.
In a statement, Americold said they have contacted law enforcement and are working with outside cybersecurity leaders and their legal counsel to respond to the incident and take action.
This came shortly after alerts from federal agencies and Microsoft were issued warning businesses that hackers are targeting the healthcare sector, in specifically those working on the COVID-19 response.
Cyber criminals are targeting the healthcare sector with cyber-attacks in an effort to steal data and disrupt operations.
In the last two months, dozens of US Health Systems and hospitals have faced ransomware attacks and EHR downtime which is a reminder that Healthcare entities need to continue to prioritize hardening their security defenses and effectiveness of business continuity plans, should they fall victim to this type of attack.