North Korea accused of Pfizer Covid vaccine cyber attack
Posted February 16, 2021
- An apparent cyber attack on pharmaceutical company Pfizer was probably an attempt to steal Covid-19 vaccine information by North Korean state-backed actors, according to South Korea’s intelligence service.
- North Korea has reported no cases of Covid-19, although its borders remain closed in a national quarantine effort and, given the nature of the North Korean regime, it is highly improbable that Covid-19 is not present there.
- The country is set to receive two million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine later this year, via the Covax programme.
- If South Korea’s intelligence is accurate, the attack on Pfizer is the latest in a string of cyber attacks by North Korea against organisations involved in the research and development of Covid-19 vaccines.
- “We have to remember that North Korea is not a normal country. No other country in recent history has resorted to printing fake US dollars. No other country deploys ransomware to blackmail bitcoins from their victims. No other country hacks international banking networks in order to steal money. In that line of thinking, it wouldn’t be surprising for them to try to hack vaccine data either.” – F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen
– Alex Scroxton | February 16, 2021