Cyberattacks in the midst of the pandemic are the order of the day. Even more so when it comes to information related to vaccines. In relation to this, the South Korean parliament made a complaint last Tuesday, February 16. The opposition legislator, Ha See-keung, accused the North Korean government of hacking the U.S. company Pfizer. Pharmaceuticals that developed a vaccine against COVID-19.
Earlier, in November 2020, Microsoft claimed that hackers from North Korea and Russia had attacked seven major companies. These are working on vaccines and treatments against the new coronavirus. Subsequently, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech reported that documents related to vaccine development suffered a cyber attack. Specifically at the European Medicines Agency EMA.
Now the accusation of the North Korean regime as the possible perpetrator of the attack has arisen. The information was provided by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to a parliamentary intelligence committee in a closed-door briefing. The report presented to lawmakers pointed the finger at the Kim Jong-un regime for the attack detected last November. Subsequently, Ha See-keung, who is also a member of the committee, told reporters that Pfizer was hacked.
Hacking objective: to obtain Covid-19 vaccine data
For his part, the lawmaker asserted that North Korea hacked Pfizer to obtain information about the vaccine developed by the company. Likewise, to obtain information on treatments against COVID-19. Although since the beginning of the pandemic, North Korea has maintained the line that there are no cases of the virus in the country. Despite this information, according to official sources, North Korean scientific authorities are working on their own vaccine.
In view of this position, countries such as the United States, Japan, among others, are questioning the claim that the country has escaped the pandemic. The discovery of this hack also discredits the North Korean version. Considering also that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has previously shown his concern about the pathogen by closing borders with China a year ago.