Information about the vaccines being developed to contain the pandemic has been among the main targets of cybercrime for months. In many cases, sponsored, apparently, by antagonistic nation-states. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) of South Korea today warned that lThe North Korean authorities reportedly tried to carry out a cyber attack against the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Its purpose was to obtain data on the development of a vaccine against Covid-19 and a possible treatment, according to what several deputies have indicated.
As reported by the Yonhap news agency, and collects Europa Press, the leader of the communist regime, Kim Jong Un, has insisted that North Korea, which has been isolated since it closed its borders in January to prevent an expansion of the virus, should not has registered cases of Covid-19 in its territory. However, the closing of the borders has increased pressure on its already ailing economy, which has to face numerous sanctions at the international level. For his part, South Korean deputy Ha Tae Keung explained that Pyongyang would have tried to “obtain technology related to the treatment and vaccine against COVID-19 by using cyber warfare tools to hack Pfizer.”
Be that as it may, this is not the first time a nation-state has been blamed for trying to rObtain information on possible remedies against the virus or hinder its development. Last December, the Security X-Force group of the technology IBM notified a campaign of ‘phishing’ attacks against European organizations associated with the cold chain of the Covid-19: a component of the supply chain of vaccines focused on guaranteeing their conservation in controlled temperature environments during their storage and transport. The company pointed out that this case had “the potential hallmarks of an action sponsored by a State.”
“The objectives of these attacks are often not very clear. When the attack is carried out by a group of cybercriminals, the most common thing is that they look for money. However, when there are states behind it, it is more difficult to understand the motivations. Although the first thing that comes to mind, especially now when several laboratories are trying to develop vaccines, is espionage, “Igor Unanue, head of technology at the cybersecurity company S21Sec, recently explained to this newspaper. In turn, the expert pointed out that it is very difficult to demonstrate the sponsorship of the countries behind these attacks.