Report says Russian, Chinese hackers targetted Europe drug regulator last year

WION Web Team
London, London, UK (Great Britain) Published: Mar 06, 2021, 07:42 PM(IST)

EMA Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The EMA launched an investigation with Dutch and European law enforcement authorities, but has so far provided no details on who may have carried out the attacks.

A report on Saturday claimed that a Russian intelligence agency and Chinese spies were behind cyberattacks on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last year.

The EMA launched an investigation with Dutch and European law enforcement authorities, but has so far provided no details on who may have carried out the attacks. It was targetted by Chinese spies in the first half of 2020, followed by Russian intelligence agents later in the year.

According to Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, the Amsterdam-based European drug regulator in December reported a cyberattack in which documents relating to COVID-19 vaccines and medicines were stolen and leaked on the internet.

Moscow has, meanwhile, always repeatedly denied western allegations of hacking. And Beijing has said previously it firmly opposes and cracks down on all forms of cyber attacks.

De Volkskrant on Saturday reported that the Chinese gained access by hacking the systems of a German university, while the Russians are alleged to have exploited flaws in the EMA`s two-step verification login and other types of cyberdefence.

The alleged Russian hackers had access to the EMA's systems for more than a month, the De Volkskrant said.

They were mainly interested in which countries would use the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and how much they would buy, the newspaper added.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced soon after the EMA's initial disclosure that documents relating to their vaccine were accessed in the incident.

A criminal investigation by law enforcement authorities and other entities is ongoing.

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