Hackers leak "manipulated" Covid-19 vaccine data to undermine public trust
The documents relate to the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccinesBy Rob Thubron 12 comments
Why it matters: There's already a lot of disinformation regarding the Covid-19 vaccines, and hackers are trying to increase the distrust by leaking hacked information about the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna jabs that has been manipulated.
Last month, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) revealed it experienced a hack in which documents and emails relating to the regulatory submissions for the Covid-19 vaccines, stored on an EMA server, had been illegally accessed.
In its latest update on the investigation, the EMA writes that some of the hacked documents have leaked online, though not in their original form.
"Some of the correspondence has been manipulated by the perpetrators prior to publication in a way which could undermine trust in vaccines," the agency notes
While the EMA hasn't revealed what information was altered, it wrote: "We have seen that some of the correspondence has been published not in its integrity [...] and, or with, comments or additions by the perpetrators."
It's still unknown who was behind the EMA hack or what they would have to gain by spreading disinformation about the Covid-19 vaccines. According to Dutch broadcaster NOS, the hacked pages were posted on a Russian forum, and a "foreign intelligence service" was behind the incident.
Last month, with the vaccines rolling out across the world, the IBM Security X-Force team found that a spear-phishing campaign was taking place targeting organizations in the Covid-19 cold chain---the process in which coronavirus vaccines are safely transported and stored in temperature-controlled environments.