Oxford University has confirmed reports of a cyber incident at a research laboratory that is researching how to counter the Covid-19 pandemic

An isolated incident was detected at the University’s Division of Structural Biology (Strubi). This came after access details for a number of its systems were spotted online, according to Forbes.

The facility is involved in Covid-19 research, although it deals with unapplied “basic science” as opposed to clinical research on vaccines and treatments which is being done elsewhere.

The systems accessed are reportedly machines that prepare biochemical samples for fundamental research.

An Oxford University spokesperson said: “We have identified and contained the problem and are now investigating further.”

“There has been no impact on any clinical research, as this is not conducted in the affected area.

“As is standard with such incidents, we have notified the National Cyber Security Centre.” The University is not commenting on the scale of the incident.

News of the attack emerged days after IBM Security published its 2021 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index report showing that cyber criminals have pivoted their attacks to organisations on which Covid-19 response efforts rely.