North Korean hackers are being accused of attempting to breach Pfizer’s servers in an effort to steal information on vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus.
South Korean lawmaker Ha Tae-Keung first lobbied the allegation on Tuesday following a briefing by the intelligence agency about the North’s attempts to steal and use coronavirus-related technology, the New York Post reported.
“There were attempts to steal COVID vaccine and treatment technology during cyber attacks and Pfizer was hacked,” Ha told reporters from Reuters regarding the briefing.
North Korea accused of hacking Pfizer for Covid-19 vaccine data https://t.co/8gX71Iq68K
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 16, 2021
The lawmaker did not specify when the hack against Pfizer took place or if the hack was successful, Reuters reported. It was also unclear as to what specific data was targeted or accessed.
Ha also stated that, while the documents from the briefing did not specifically name Pfizer, the wording “was so clear that I didn’t even ask about that verbally,” the New York Post reported. (RELATED: Johnson & Johnson CEO Predicts Annual COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Necessary For Foreseeable Future)
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service told Reuters that it had also stopped previous attempts by state-sponsored hackers into South Korean firms that were developing vaccines.
North Korea was previously accused of hacking by Microsoft in November for targeting seven companies for the purpose of stealing research into COVID drugs and vaccines.
In December, hackers that were assumed to be state-sponsored as well attempted to conduct a phishing attack against companies involved in the worldwide distribution of the vaccine. North Korea was not named in the attack, but the overall attack also targeted South Korea.