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North Korea reportedly tried to hack Pfizer to steal COVID-19 vaccine tech

Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine was authorized for emergency use in the US in December.

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Carrie Mihalcik Senior Editor / News
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North Korea reportedly attempted to hack pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to steal coronavirus vaccine and treatment information. South Korea's intelligence agency informed lawmakers of its findings during a closed-door session on Tuesday, according to multiple media reports

"There were attempts to steal COVID vaccine and treatment technology during cyber attacks and Pfizer was hacked," said Ha Tae-keung, a member of South Korea's parliamentary intelligence committee, according to Reuters. It's unclear when the hack occurred or whether it was successful. 

Pfizer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

In December, The Wall Street Journal reported that North Korean hackers had targeted at least six pharmaceutical companies in the US, the UK and South Korea that have been working on vaccines. Distributors and suppliers have also been the targets of a hacking campaign looking to steal information on COVID-19 vaccines. 

Pfizer's vaccine, which was developed with German partner BioNTech, was granted emergency use authorization in the US in December. It's being administered along with a vaccine developed by Moderna. Last week, President Joe Biden said the US had purchased an additional 100 million Moderna and 100 million Pfizer vaccines, adding that enough supply has now been purchased to vaccinate all Americans.