North Korean hackers target drugmakers developing COVID-19 vaccines, treatments


Hackers based in North Korea are launching cyberattacks on drugmakers developing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments in hopes of securing information that can be sold or otherwise weaponized, the Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 2.

The hackers have targeted Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and AstraZeneca, all of which are developing COVID-19 vaccine candidates. South Korean drugmakers with COVID-19 drugs in clinical testing have also been targeted, including Genexine, Shin Poong and Celltrion, sources told the WSJ.

Though it is unclear whether the hackers obtained the information they were seeking, they have been launching cyberattacks on these six drugmakers since August, sources told the WSJ. They also said the cyberattacks contained digital footprints used in previous North Korean hacking campaigns targeting the U.S. Department of State and South Korea's unification ministry.


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