The U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said Thursday that hackers backed by the Russian state are allegedly attempting to steal COVID-19 vaccine data from researchers and institutions around the world.

According to a report, this statement comes from the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada who made reference to the hacking group APT29, also called 'Cozy Bear'.

The Cozy Bear has been a low-profile group that focuses on gathering intelligence rather than raising a disturbance. The group, however, has been accused of using securing vulnerabilities and malware to infiltrate various organizations that are on the verge of developing COVID-19 vaccines. 

Paul Chichester who is the Director of Operations for the NCSC berated the said attacks and called it a despicable act. 

An interview taken by Russian news agency RIA quoted spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying, "Russia has nothing to do with these attempts." He added that the Kremlin did not see any proper evidence backing the said allegations. 

The NCSC, though, released details pointing that the hackers, also known as 'The Dukes', tried to break into the victims' computers. The security service is unsure if the said efforts led to the leakage of vital COVID-19 research. 

A separate accusation has also been made by the U.K. which alleged Russian actors of meddling in the 2019 elections by spreading illicitly acquired government documents. The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the allegations and called the statements “foggy and contradictory."

Britain is yet to publish a report on the impact of Russian influence on the said elections. 

U.K's Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said it will not let the "completely unacceptable" act against go unpunished and that it be working with its global allies to hold perpetrators responsible. 

A statement released by the NSNC said that it believes these attacks are still continuing especially as Russia remains among the COVID-19 hotspots.

These attacks are hindering response efforts by organizations who are only trying to do their work, said Canadian authorities. The Canadian intelligence urged those involved with vaccine research to put protective actions into place in order to avoid being victimized by rogue hacking groups and losing their work.

Russian Prime Minister Putin winks at EU Commission President Manuel Barroso in Moscow. Image Reuters