The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which evaluates and approves drugs for the European Union, suffered a cyberattack last month and documents related to Covid-19 were stolen.
The agency announced that some of the documents were published online by cybercriminals. Cyber security organization ESET has taken the subject under the spotlight.
In its press release, the European Medicines Agency EMA shared the situation as follows: “According to the ongoing investigation into the cyber attack on the EMA, some third party documents related to Covid-19 drugs and vaccines were illegally accessed and these documents were leaked to the internet. Police officials will do what is necessary in this regard. "
The leaked documents were probably documents from companies working on the vaccine. The agency stated that its systems were working and that there was no disruption in the approval and evaluation schedule for the vaccine. The agency, headquartered in the Netherlands, first announced on December 9, 2020 that it had a cyber problem coming from an unknown source. Then it turned out that the documents had leaked. According to the investigation conducted, the data breach is limited to an IT application. The organizers of the threat directly targeted information including Covid-19 drugs and vaccines.
What data has leaked?
Data captured; Includes "email screenshots, EMA staff comments, Word documents, PDFs and PowerPoint presentations". Affected companies were informed about the incident.
Breached companies also made a statement
BioNTech and Pfizer companies, which developed vaccines after the attack occurred, announced that they were among the companies that had access to their documents. The two companies shared the following joint statement regarding the violation: “We learned that Pfizer and BioNTech companies have provided out-of-age access to some regulatory requirements documents belonging to the Covid-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2 and stored on EMA's servers. We would like to point out that the BioNTech or Pfizer systems have not been subjected to any breach in connection with this incident. We do not have any information that the identity of the participants in the study is determined by the data accessed. "
We will often see vaccine fraud attempts.
Cyber security organization ESET warned that we will encounter cyber attacks or fraud attempts related to Covid-19 vaccines and medicines many times. Law enforcement agencies around the world are on the alert about cybercriminals and scammers who want to make money by taking the opportunity to start vaccination. The U.S. Treasury Department is one of those agencies that has issued a serious warning that criminals may attempt to abuse the Covid -19 vaccination process, such as misleading offers to bring it forward during vaccination.
Be aware that such offers are fake. In many countries, the vaccination strategy prioritizes high-risk groups and healthcare professionals. If you come across similar offers or offers to sell the vaccine, these are fake - such as the coronavirus-related scams that appeared shortly after the pandemic began.