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Got Into the Lab Machines

An Oxford University lab studying SARS-CoV-2 has been hacked, Forbes reports.

According to Forbes, machines used at the Division of Structural Biology, nicknamed Strubi, to prepare biochemical samples were compromised, and an Oxford spokesperson tells it that the affected machines include ones used to study coronavirus samples. Forbes adds that it was alerted to the breach at Strubi by Alex Holden, the CTO of Hold Security, who showed screenshots indicating that hackers might be able to control pumps and pressure of lab equipment with timestamps of mid-February. 

"We have identified and contained the problem and are now investigating further," an Oxford University spokesperson tells Forbes. "There has been no impact on any clinical research, as this is not conducted in the affected area." Oxford adds that the UK's National Cyber Security Center has been informed of the breach.

Forbes adds that it is unclear what the hackers may have been after, postulating they may have been seeking information about the virus or even aiming to sabotage research.

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