North Korean hackers accused of trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine info

  • North Korean hackers accused of trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine info

North Korean hackers accused of trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine info

The South Korean MP informed that Seoul's National Intelligence Service had briefed the country's lawmakers on North Korea's coronavirus vaccine hacking attempt.

In November, Microsoft said North Korean and Russian hackers had tried to steal data from pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers, although it said the efforts were mostly unsuccessful.

Ha said the wording about Pfizer "was so clear that I didn't even ask about that verbally" during the briefing.

Ha's office confirmed his comments but gave no details.

North Korea has not confirmed any coronavirus infections, but the NIS had said an outbreak there can not be ruled out as the country had active trade and people-to-people exchanges with China before closing the border in early 2020. Ha suggested the NIS was likely trying not to anger North Korea too much.

Ri Sol Ju's appearance comes the same day South Korea 's intelligence service sought to play down rumours over her "disappearance".

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with his wife Ri Sol Ju
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with his wife Ri Sol Ju Credit AP

Article content In this file photo taken on June 30, 2019 North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump cross south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, after Trump briefly stepped over to the northern side, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ).

Acquiring coronavirus vaccines is crucial for North Korea, whose public health care system is in shambles.

The impoverished, nuclear-armed North has been under self-imposed isolation since closing its borders in January a year ago to try to protect itself from the virus that first emerged in neighbouring China and has gone on to sweep the world, killing more than two million people.

North Korea has also been linked to significant cyberattacks, which the country denies.

The World Health Organization-backed COVAX said in a forecast that the supplies going to North Korea will likely be provided by India's Serum Institute, which is licensed to produce vaccines that AstraZeneca developed with the University of Oxford.

South Korean intelligence said the two married in 2009. Moon was a driving force behind now-dormant nuclear diplomacy between North Korea and the United States.