North Korea tried to hack into the computer systems of US-based pharma giant Pfizer to steal the company's COVID-19 vaccine data and treatment, according to South Korean intelligence agency.
The cyberattack is the second such attempt by Pyongyang in recent months. It has been accused of hacking pharma companies to restore data about their handiwork in creating a new COVID-19 vaccine.
National Intelligence Service (NIS), the chief intelligence agency of South Korea informed lawmakers about the alleged cyber breach on Tuesday, February 16, during a closed-door briefing to a parliamentary intelligence committee, Bloomberg reported.
"Pfizer got hacked," Ha Tae-Keung, an opposition lawmaker who was present at the meeting, told reporters in Seoul.
Microsoft Corp. had said in November last year that hackers from North Korea, and Russia, had tried to break into seven notable companies working on the coronavirus vaccine as well as treatment research.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE later stated that documents pertaining to their vaccine development had been targeted in a cyberattack on the European Medicines Agency.
The companies, however, added that the hackers could not breach their systems.
Meanwhile, North Korea has officially claimed that it has had no cases of coronavirus. But, officials from Japan, the United States, and other countries have cast doubts on the claim that North Korea has escaped the pandemic without a single COVID-19 infection.