Hackers target Pfizer vaccine data by attacking on European Medicines Agency

Cyber security + Global news 7 Defence todayDecember 18, 2020 171 1

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Pfizer and BioNTech claimed that regulatory documents related to their jointly developed Covid-19 vaccine were “unlawfully accessed” during a cyber-attack on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on December 10, 2020.

In a brief statement given by the EMA on its website they did not provide details on the nature of the cyber-attack. They said a full investigation has been launched.

The EMA said they had made the details of the hack public due to the critical public health considerations and the importance of transparency. They also said that they are unaware of any personal data of participants in its medical studies being compromised.

EMA did not have any information on when or how the cyber-attack happened, nor who is responsible for it. Although some experts commented that the information could be valuable to other countries and companies trying to develop Covid-19 vaccines.

EU healthcare body assured pharma giants that the attack will have no impact on vaccine authorization time. The vaccine is expected to be completed on December 29, 2020.

The cyber-attack is the latest in a string of attacks and warnings about hacking threats against vaccine-makers and public health bodies. Security services had warned that Russian intelligence had been targeting organisations attempting to develop a successful vaccine.

Attackers ranging from state-backed spies to cybercriminals scramble to obtain the latest information about the outbreak of the virus. Hackers linked to China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Vietnam have been accused of trying to steal information about the virus and its potential treatments.

Written by: 7 Defence

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