The European Medicines Agency was the direct victim of a cyberattack. Illustrative photo.
The European Medicines Agency was the direct victim of a cyberattack. Illustrative photo. (RICCARDO MILANI / HANS LUCAS)

The European Medicines Agency announces that it has been the victim of a cyber attack. Documents relating to the marketing authorization of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 have been stolen. The EAJ is due to vote on this vaccine on December 29.

Few details have leaked out on how this cyberattack unfolded. As with the previous ones, we can think of phishing, that is to say, fake e-mails intended to deceive employees and to steal passwords to enter the system. The companies Pfizer and BioNTech are quick to say that their computer systems were not attacked but it is that of the European Medicines Agency, based in Amsterdam, which was affected. What could be the consequences of this theft? We don’t know yet, nor if this is the only information stolen.

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In any case, this is not the first cyberattack on vaccines. The offensives have increased in recent months, against pharmaceutical companies and also against the vaccine supply chain, that is to say, in particular, companies specializing in transport at -70 degrees. Microsoft and then IBM have sounded the alarm bells. Russian hackers have been singled out for, then North Korean. Although it is always difficult to be certain in this area.

We can almost speak of real mafias. Hackers are interested in anything that can generate money. Right now, it’s on the vaccine side that it’s happening. Perhaps they are trying to steal information or block systems with ransomware to demand ransoms in the hope that the companies involved will pay more easily because of the urgency of the situation? Maybe they are trying to steal information to resell it to competitors? Indeed, the race for vaccines leads to fierce economic competition on a global scale, and there is a real parallel economy of the “black cybermarket” in the DarkNet, this parallel network of hidden sites where people buy and sell at low prices. near all kinds of hacked data or illegal products.

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