The Pfizer vaccine became the target of hackers, who sneaked into the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) servers. The agency reported that the attackers managed to steal some of the data and released it illegally.
The Pfizer vaccine was hacked in December
According to EMA, hackers stole some of the data about the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in December. But they only discovered the leak during the investigation, which found evidence of the stolen data.
Now, according to EMA, authorities are taking action. The agency is in charge of evaluating, monitoring and supervising new medcinines in the EU. Thus, it has the right to approve any COVID-19 vaccines.
The agency released a statement and mentioned it had been subject to a cyberattack, on 9 December 2020.
Then, the two companies involved in the vaccine production, Pfizer and BioNTech came with a joint statement. They mentioned that EMA informed them about the attack on the Pfizer vaccine.
Then, the authorities mentioned that hackers managed to access a only a small number of documents. This happened as they targeted specific data related to the vaccine. According to BleepingComputer, they accessed documents, email screenshots, PPT files and EMA comments.
The COVID-19 vaccines – a priority target
Sam Curry, chief security officer for Cybereason, named the breaches around the vaccines “diabolical.”
In fact, the attack against EMA is only the most recent and important one targeting the COVID-19 vaccines. Although some ransomware groups announced they would avoid health organizations, there were lots of attacks against those.
For instance, in April last year, the Dutch police arrested a hacker who managed to put down MijnOverheid.nl and Oveheid.nl. The authorities used these two websites to send information to citizens, including updates regarding the pandemic.
Also, attackers targeted that cold chain that ensure the right temperature for the distribution of the vaccines, in what they called “global phishing attempt.”