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Photo: Anton Vergun/TASS via Getty Images

Symantec is tracking what it believes to be a longstanding corporate espionage hacking effort against medical manufacturers.

The details: Based on the targets — all manufacturers of medical supplies or companies that served them — and the inconsistent quality of the hackers' work, Symantec believes this is private sector work beneath the level of intelligence agency. The cybersecurity firm detailed the campaign it has rubbed "Orangeworm" in a report released Monday.

"It's not often we come across this kind of campaign being used for corporate espionage," Vikram Thakur, Symantec technical director, told Axios. Typically, targeted attacks striking a low enough volume of victims are the work of government actors.

Think pharmaceuticals, not insurance: Thakur cautions that most people's first assumption about hackers targeting health care firms is wrong — they do not appear to be targeting accounts and personal information. Instead, they appear to be looking for manufacturing techniques and intellectual property.

The impact: In 2018, the group has already attacked at least a couple of dozen targets. Symantec tracked nearly 100 attacks since 2015.

The intrigue: The group has designed hard-to-capture hacking tools resistant to being scooped up for analysis, leaving Symantec with little to go on in as it tries to profile the attacker. Symantec does not know how the hackers first breach the system.

  • Though Symantec hasn't been able to retrieve all the tools used in the attack, the attackers did a substandard job hiding the fact they had been in the system. "The threat may be hard to catch, but it's noisy, " Thakur said.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

7 hours ago - World

British MP dies after being stabbed while meeting constituents

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K., was fatally stabbed Friday while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England, according to AP.

The big picture: Police said a man, 25, was arrested for the stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea and is being held on suspicion of murder. A knife was also recovered at the scene, authorities said.