N.Korean Hackers Try to Steal Coronavirus Cure Info

  • By Lee Beul-chan

    December 03, 2020 12:25

    North Korean hackers tried to break into at least nine pharmaceutical companies, including four in South Korea, seeking to steal information on coronavirus vaccines and treatments.

    Reuters on Wednesday reported that the cyberattacks began in September targeting the U.K.'s AstraZeneca and the U.S.' Johnson & Jonhson and Novavax. The South Korean drug makers were Genexine, Boryung Pharmaceutical, Shinpoong Pharmaceutical and Celltrion.

    Investigators said the hackers created bogus websites similar to log-in portals used by the drug makers to lure employees to input their identification numbers and passwords. Internet communication logs showed that the web domain and server used in the cyberattacks are linked to North Korean hackers.

    The U.S. government and cyber security companies also believe North Korean hackers were behind the attacks, but it is unclear if or to what extent they succeeded.

    A spokeswoman for Novavax told Reuters the company is "aware of this threat" and is coordinating with government agencies and private cyber security firms.

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