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North Korean hackers tried breaking into the computer systems of pharmaceutical company Pfizer to access information on a coronavirus vaccine, according to a South Korean lawmaker and multiple reports.
Seoul’s National Intelligence Service “briefed us that North Korea tried to obtain technology involving the Covid vaccine and treatment by using cyberwarfare to hack into Pfizer,” said Parliament member Ha Tae-keung following a closed-door hearing, according to Agence France-Presse.
The U.S. State Department and Pfizer did not immediately respond to emails from Fox News.
The reported attempt by North Korea, although bold, is not all that surprising. U.N. security experts recently found that North Korean hackers stole about $316 million to improve its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
NORTH KOREAN HACKERS STOLE $316M TO IMPROVE NUKES, BALLISTIC MISSILES, UN EXPERTS SAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attends a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Politburo in Pyongyang, North Korea on Nov. 15, 2020. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
North Korea has also been linked to significant cyberattacks, which the country denies. They include a 2013 campaign that impacted the servers of South Korean financial institutions, the 2014 hacking of Sony Pictures, and the WannaCry malware attack of 2017.
Leader Kim Jong Un has insisted the country has had no coronavirus cases. North Korea last year imposed a border lockdown and increased quarantine measures in an effort to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.
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Pfizer aims to make two billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this year, according to the international news agency headquartered in Paris, France.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and the Associated Press contributed to this report