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Suspected North Korean hackers launch cyberattack against Covid-19 vaccine maker AstraZeneca

Published by on November 29th, 2020.


North Korean hackers are suspected to have carried out a cyberattack against British coronavirus vaccine developer AstraZeneca recently according to a new report by Reuters.

According to Reuters, North Korean hackers posed as recruiters on social networking site LinkedIn and WhatsApp in order to approach AstraZeneca staff, including those working on coronavirus research.

The suspected hackers then offered fake job offers to the company’s staff then sent documents — some using Russian email addresses — purporting to be job descriptions that were in fact laced with malicious code designed to give the hackers access to the victim’s computers, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, the hackers were not successful.

Drugmaker, AstraZeneca has not reacted to the report
But the University of Oxford, working in conjunction with the drugmaker to develop a covid-19 vaccine said the university is working closely with the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to ensure protection of Vaccine materials and data

“Oxford University is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre to ensure our COVID-19 research has the best possible cyber security and protection,” a university spokesperson told CNN.

Speaking to CNN, a member of staff of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva said the Reuters report was “fake news,” alleging that the information had been “fabricated.”

The Reuters report comes after a South Korean lawmaker said the country had stoppef North Korean attempts to hack its own pharmaceutical companies working on Coronavirus vaccines.

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