Russian state-sponsored hackers tried to steal the vaccine

Otters Rule

Well-known member
Apparently. Breaking news from about an hour ago.

Am I just naive, but why can't vaccine experimental findings and results data be held in a quarantined system set up and completely isolated from the internet whilst the work is in progress. I know information is shared on the internet but we will have to revert to bloody pen and paper with iron security guards at this rate.
 
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Otters Rule

Otters Rule

Well-known member
Heard on the news that Oxford which is leading the crowd on vaccine research, that they were one of the organisations hacked.
Were they actually hacked or was it an an unsuccessful attempt?

I just don't understand why they don't have wholly internal systems that are isolated from other systems. I must be so naive.

I mean physically separate - no wires linking them to anything else, no ether connection. (You can tell I'm out of my depth with this IT stuff.)

I could get out my old electronic typewriter and write a novel on it. I could get out my old PC and write a novel on that with all the benefits of MS Word. They are standalone systems. They do not link to the internet. Someone could not access the content of the hard drive or the floppy disk unless they broke in. My neighbour could not hack them and pee herself laughing at the play what I wrote.

I understand the benefits of being able to share information between other research organisations in the same country, or worldwide, at a split second's notice... but I wish we could special courier it instead (and I don't mean bloody DHL, et al.)

It's like the greatest brains ever can work on a vaccine but they're not surrounded by brains of equal greatness in that little old matter of keeping secrets..
 
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Hotsoapywater

Well-known member
Were they actually hacked or was it an an unsuccessful attempt?

I just don't understand why they don't have wholly internal systems that are isolated from other systems. I must be so naive.
I don't think it is naive at all, Otters. It always baffles me. I think it was an unsuccessful attempt. Not entirely certain.
 

Hotsoapywater

Well-known member
I think with stuff like this, a lot of the research is computer modelled so they couldn't get their typewriters out. University systems have so much data and places like Oxford and Cambridge are security risks. When you think, any scientific data is very valuable.
 

Badbilly

Well-known member
The type of computing power that Universities and medical research establishments need for the raw number crunching is often not available locally, so they have no choice but to connect to other computers off site. It would be incredibly expensive, and a complete waste of resources, to have a super computer in every university or research place.
 

Imjustalawnmower

Well-known member
"It's like the greatest brains ever can work on a vaccine but they're not surrounded by brains of equal greatness in that little old matter of keeping secrets.."

Unfortunately, brains and common sense are not always nodding acquaintances. Sometimes they don't even orbit the same sun🙄
 

Badbilly

Well-known member
Just to add to what is initially a good suggestion ( to isolate important computers) this is exactly what Iran did in the early 2000’s when developing nuclear weapons, so they couldn’t be hacked, and also so nobody would know what they were doing.

The only flaw, in their otherwise cunning plan, was that the whole isolated computer system got hacked by an operative who had been compromised, who introduced a virus to the system by using a USB flash drive.

 

Hotsoapywater

Well-known member
Just to add to what is initially a good suggestion ( to isolate important computers) this is exactly what Iran did in the early 2000’s when developing nuclear weapons, so they couldn’t be hacked, and also so nobody would know what they were doing.

The only flaw, in their otherwise cunning plan, was that the whole isolated computer system got hacked by an operative who had been compromised, who introduced a virus to the system by using a USB flash drive.

Only you, Billy, would know this stuff. 😆
 

Badbilly

Well-known member
I could get out my old electronic typewriter and write a novel on it. I could get out my old PC and write a novel on that with all the benefits of MS Word. They are standalone systems. They do not link to the internet. Someone could not access the content of the hard drive or the floppy disk unless they broke in. My neighbour could not hack them and pee herself laughing at the play what I wrote.
Sorry, didn’t see this bit initially (you crafty editor 😀).

I don’t want to alarm you, but even your old laptop that never gets connected to the internet is not 100% secure. There are things called “air gap intrusions” where a naughty person can enter your computer through the power lines, or even pick up tiny microscopic electromagnetic pulses from your hard drives. Your novel may not be safe after all 😐

 
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Otters Rule

Otters Rule

Well-known member
No craftiness, Billy. 😆 I sometimes wish this forum didn't add my recent additions to the last if added within the edit time frame. I can't see that we have a choice. Anyway, my head's always a jumble of competing thoughts which might be in there for a moment and lost the next. Then they might reappear and I add them in.🙂

That air gap thing, and all the rest... depressing to read. Luckily I'm not writing a novel, and if I were, it's unlikely the Russians or anyone else would feel the need to waste their time hacking it. 😆
 

horsesgallore

Well-known member
You wonder if they were hacking to see if anyone is actually making any progress on creating a vaccine. I, for one, don't believe there will ever be one.

I also don't understand why pcs can get viruses, but Macs can't. But if it was up to me, we'd still be in the stone age. :giggle:
 

horsesgallore

Well-known member
Why do you think that Macs can’t get viruses?

They just have a much smaller share of the market than Windows, and are therefore a smaller target.
I'm sure someone told me - probably my ex - that Macs don't get viruses. I've never had a Mac, probably never will, so I've blindly just accepted what that twat said because it actually has no relevance to me. I am not particularly tech-minded, as our helpdesk at work can testify. As part of one of my unfurloughed days to do necessary H&S checks at work, there was to be an upgrade done to the router. I dutifully phoned my boss to be talked through this and I'm not sure if it was me or him who was more relieved that our useless router had actually done the upgrade unprompted and he didn't have to try and talk me through it! :ROFLMAO:
 

Chattypickle

Well-known member
My son does some tech support at work (only it person in the building, everything from buying/rewriting/researching/ to showing someone how to print a spreadsheet).

he started on the tech help desk at Curry’s where they were amazed at his patience. Little did they know his grandma had been training him up for years.
 

Hawthorn

Well-known member
There was definitely something odd happening computer-wise on Thursday, all of us at work had random occasions when the cursor locked up and then started to whizz about on its own, and we had to switch the server off for half an hour. And we have some seriously heavy-duty security on our system.
 
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