By CAPosts 03 December, 2020 - 08:51am 83 views
The BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine, which is being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech Illustrated Service (Automated) / BIONTECH
Hackers have targeted covid-19 vaccines . IBM Security has warned of a global phishing campaign - a type of cyber deception for people to share sensitive information - targeting companies related to the cold chain of coronavirus vaccines, a process necessary to maintain vaccine doses at extremely cold temperatures while being transported. According to IBM, a group of hackers is working to gather information on different aspects of the cold chain, using meticulously crafted emails sent on behalf of an executive at Haier Biomedical, a Chinese supplier specializing in vaccine transport and biological sample storage. .
"Whoever organized this campaign was aware of the products that are involved in the supply chain of a vaccine for a global pandemic," explains IBM analyst Claire Zaboeva to Reuters. The experts of the computer company consider that the purpose of this attack was to collect user names and passwords to be able to access internal communications, as well as the process, methods and plans to distribute a covid-19 vaccine. "Understanding how to build a safe cold chain is critical to distributing vaccines developed by companies such as Pfizer Inc and BioNTech because the intakes must be stored below 70 degrees Celsius to avoid spoiling," the report details .
Fake emails from Haier were sent to about ten organizations, and so far IBM has only verified the identity of one of them: the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission, which handles tax and customs matters in the EU and has contributed to establish regulations on the importation of vaccines. Other targets of the hackers were organizations in the energy, manufacturing, website creation, and Internet security and software solutions sectors. According to the IBM report , none of the organizations responded to the hackers' messages, so the hackers have not accessed the information.
Experts have not been able to determine which group of hackers is behind the operation. "The precision and nature of the operation point to the probable authorship of hackers of a Nation-State," the report details.
It is not the first time that hackers have tried to obtain vital information about coronavirus vaccines. A week ago, alleged hackers from North Korea tried unsuccessfully to enter the systems of the British drug manufacturer AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, who together with Moderna and the US National Institutes of Health and already Pfizer and the German biotechnology company BioNTech , constitute one of the teams that lead the race for the vaccine against covid-19.