North Korea reportedly tried to hack US pharmaceutical company Pfizer to find treatment information and steal technology from its covid-19 vaccine. It is not yet known what data was stolen or whether the hackers were able to actually break into the system. The information was confirmed by South Korean deputy Ha Tae-keung on Tuesday (16).
According to the local Yonhap news agency, South Korea’s National Intelligence Agency privately informed lawmakers of the alleged attack.
The North Korean country closed its borders in January 2020, as soon as the virus started to spread in China, and did not report a single case of Coronavirus in the territory. However, the country is expected to receive at least two million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in the coming weeks.
In November last year, Microsoft revealed that it had detected system intrusion attempts by at least nine pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer.
According to the report, a Russian group dubbed “Extravagant Bear” and North Korean groups dubbed “Zinc” and “Cerium” were involved in the cyber attack. Vaccine researchers in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the United States were also targeted.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) had also previously said that Russian hackers were targeting vaccine research. Russia denied that it was responsible.