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Hackers Altered the Covid-19 Vaccine Records

 

The European Union's drug regulator has said that COVID-19 vaccine documents that were purloined from its servers in a cyberattack have been not only leaked on the web but "manipulated" by hackers.

A cyber-attack hit the European Medicines Agency (EMA). At the hour of the divulgence of the hack, the EMA didn't give technical insights concerning the attack, nor any information on whether the attack will affect its operations while it is evaluating and approving COVID-19 vaccines. 

The European agency plays a vital role in the evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines across the EU, it has access to sensitive and confidential data, including quality, safety, and effectiveness of information coming about because of trials. The European Medicines Agency said on Friday that a continuous investigation concerning the cyberattack demonstrated that hackers got emails and records from November identified with the evaluation of experimental Covid vaccines. 

The agency, which regulates medications and drugs across the 27-part EU, had troves of confidential COVID-19 information as a feature of its vaccine approval process. 

"A portion of the correspondence has been manipulated by the culprits before distribution in a manner which could sabotage trust in vaccines," the agency said. It didn't clarify what data was altered — but cybersecurity experts state such practices are typical of disinformation campaigns launched by governments. 

Italian cybersecurity firm Yarix said, "the intention behind the leak by cybercriminals is sure: to cause critical harm to the reputation and credibility of EMA and Pfizer." The agency said that given the overwhelming toll of the pandemic, there was an "urgent public health need to make vaccines accessible to EU residents as quickly as time permits." The EMA demanded that despite that urgency, its decisions to recommend the green-lighting of vaccines were based "on the strength of the scientific proof on a vaccine's safety, quality and efficacy, and nothing else.” 

The agency, which is situated in Amsterdam, went under hefty criticism from Germany and other EU part nations in December for not approving vaccines against the virus all the more rapidly. The EMA gave its first recommendation for the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine weeks after the shot got approval in Britain, the United States, Canada, and elsewhere. 

The EMA said law enforcement authorities are taking necessary action in response to the cyberattack.

Important Documents Related to the Covid-19 Vaccine Leaked on the Darkweb

 

As the pandemic continues to spread globally via a new Covid-19 variant, the attacks on medical agencies surge likewise. Pharmaceutical industries and government organizations continue to face the wrath. As per the sources, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) became the victim of the latest attack, from where “several documents related to the Covid-19 vaccine are allegedly stolen and are released in the Darkweb market, security experts said”.

Security experts from threat intelligence firm Cyble also said, “during the evaluation of data, the experts have found that various confidential files, including MoMs, assessment reports, confidential emails, login portal links and images of its internal pages were accessed and leaked”. The illegal market for Covid-19 vaccines has asserted its malicious influence even more so as it continues to expand in scope and horizon.

In this regard, European Medical Agency said, “EMA has been the subject of a cyber attack. The Agency has swiftly launched a full investigation, in close cooperation with law enforcement and other relevant entities”.

“EMA cannot provide additional details whilst the investigation is ongoing. Further information will be made available in due course”, the agency further added.

The agency is investigating the security incident, however, there is no clarification regarding the source of the attack. Also, whether the hackers were successful in their attempt or not remains unclear as of now.

European Medical Agency have been twice the victim of cyber attacks in recent months, it has become the target of attackers because it has all the necessary and confidential information related to the Covid-19 vaccines, also it has to be noted that it played a massive role in the assessment of Covid-19 vaccines.

The leaked documents are also being shared on the Russian-speaking forums when the threat intelligence firm Cyble started tracking the documents. During the investigation, the experts have also found that the attackers were using the internal email from where the portal link was shared and also the login page for the portal to access the reports, all of which were shared through the screenshots. Furthermore, the documents included the supposed evaluation reports of the Covid-19 vaccine which also comprised the summary report of drug release