Members of The Quinism Foundation, a charity advocating for research into the side effects of antimalarial drugs have been targeted by a ‘sophisticated’ email attack.
The Founder of the organisation, Dr Remington Nevin, said it is possible that ‘personal information and correspondence may have been compromised’.
The attack, appearing to have unfolded over 15-30 minutes, stemmed from a compromised email account of one of The Quinism Foundation’s Board Members.
The attacker sent malicious links to other members via email and made efforts to ‘socially engineer the targets’ to persuade them to open it. The purpose of the link is unknown, although most phishing attacks aim to obtain sensitive information. The attacker then took steps to cover their tracks by deleting emails from the account.
Dr Nevin suggested that this ‘was not a random phishing attack’ and that recipients were part of a ‘pre-determined list of prominent individuals in the advocacy community’. This includes individuals named in recent news stories surrounding Mefloquine and Tafenoquine.
The attack comes the same day that The Quinism Foundation published that a former Navy SEAL sued drug company Roche over Mefloquine.
The scale of the attack is not yet known, although Dr Nevin has advised those who received a suspicious email to contact him as a matter of urgency. The news was announced via an email newsletter titled ‘An Urgent Message to Our Supporters‘.
Follow @RemingtonNevin on Twitter for further updates