Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine documents accessed in EMA cyberattack

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) responsible for COVID-19 vaccine approval has suffered a cyberattack of an undisclosed nature, according to a statement posted on their website.

The EMA is a decentralized agency for the European Union responsible for evaluating, monitoring, and supervising new medicines introduced to the EU.

In a statement on their website, the European Medicines Agency has stated that they have suffered a cyberattack and are investigating with law enforcement.

“EMA has been the subject of a cyberattack. The Agency has swiftly launched a full investigation, in close cooperation with law enforcement and other relevant entities.”

“EMA cannot provide additional details whilst the investigation is ongoing. Further information will be made available in due course,” the EMA website disclosed about the attack.

While there will be a lot of speculation as to what type of attack was conducted on EMA’s systems and its goal, the Agency is not providing further information about the attack.

When asked for more details, the EMA referred us back to their published statement and added that “The Agency is fully functional and all work continues.”

In a joint statement from Pfizer and BioNTech, the companies disclosed that some documents related to their COVID-19 submissions were accessed by the threat actors during EMA’s cyberattack.

“Today, we were informed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that the agency has been subject to a cyberattack and that some documents relating to the regulatory submission for Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, which has been stored on an EMA server, had been unlawfully accessed,” Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s joint statement read.

The Agency has been thrust into the spotlight recently as they evaluate COVID-19 vaccines for approval in the EU. They are currently reviewing the applications for Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines.

A recent report by researchers from IBM X-Force warned that threat actors are targeting organizations associated with the COVID-19 vaccine cold-storage supply chain using phishing campaigns.

These phishing campaigns are believed to be used to gather credentials that could be used to compromise a targeted organization’s network.

In November, cold storage giant Americold was hit by a ransomware attack that forced them to shut down their systems and caused significant disruption in food delivery services.

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