Pyongyang hackers attack Pfizer targeting anti-Covid vaccine

New IT unit created to steal the secrets of western pharmaceutical companies. Alarm already launched by the Southern Parliament. Seoul Intelligence: cyber-attacks from the North increased by 32%. Kim Jong-un interested only in US and European drugs.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A new North Korean unit for online piracy recently breached Pfizer's computer system: the aim was to steal secrets related to the development of the Covid-19 vaccine.

This episode was reported today by Daily NK on the basis of information obtained from a high-level source of the Kim Jong-un regime.

The news confirms what Ha Tae-kyung, a member of the Intelligence Committee of the South Korean Parliament, declared on February 16 after having witnessed a briefing by the secret services.

But while the Seoul parliamentarian made direct reference to a hacker attack in Pyongyang on Pfizer, the intelligence agents in the South then specified that they had only provided a general picture of the situation.

They found that North Korean hacker attacks grew 32% from a year ago, including those to steal data on coronavirus vaccines, but did not name a specific pharmaceutical company among the North victims.

According to the North Korean source contacted by Daily NK, it is unclear what Pyongyang's Unit 325 was able to take from Pfizer's computers, which created a coronavirus vaccine together with Germany's BioNtech. To immunize the population, Kim is interested in European and US drugs, more than Chinese and Russian ones.