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North Korea accused of trying to hack Pfizer for Covid-19 vaccine info

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North Korea accused of trying to hack Pfizer for Covid-19 vaccine info

North Korean hackers tried to break into the computer systems of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in a search for information on a coronavirus vaccine and treatment technology, South Korea’s spy agency said Tuesday, Feb 16

 

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North Korea has been under self-imposed isolation since closing its borders in January last year to try to protect itself from the virus.

 

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Leader Kim Jong Un has repeatedly insisted that the country has had no coronavirus cases, although outside experts doubt those assertions.

 

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And the closure has added to the pressure on its tottering economy from international sanctions imposed over its banned weapons systems, increasing the urgency for Pyongyang to find a way to deal with the disease.

 

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Seoul’s National Intelligence Service “briefed us that North Korea tried to obtain technology involving the Covid vaccine and treatment by using cyberwarfare to hack into Pfizer”, MP Ha Tae-keung told reporters after a parliamentary hearing behind closed doors.

 

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North Korea is known to operate an army of thousands of well-trained hackers who have attacked firms, institutions and researchers in the South and elsewhere.

 

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The allegations that North Korea tried to hack Pfizer come only a week after a confidential UN report seen by AFP said North Korea had stolen more than $300 million worth of cryptocurrencies through cyberattacks in recent months to support its weapons programmes.

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