At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, IBM Security X-Force created a threat intelligence task force dedicated to tracking down COVID-19 cyber threats against organizations that are keeping the vaccine supply chain moving. As part of these efforts, our team recently uncovered a global phishing campaign targeting organizations associated with a COVID-19 cold chain. The cold chain is a component of the vaccine supply chain that ensures the safe preservation of vaccines in temperature-controlled environments during their storage and transportation.
Our analysis indicates that this calculated operation started in September 2020. The COVID-19 phishing campaign spanned across six countries and targeted organizations likely associated with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance’s Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform (CCEOP) program, which we explain further in this blog. While firm attribution could not be established for this campaign, the precision targeting of executives and key global organizations hold the potential hallmarks of nation-state tradecraft.