When the entire world is waiting for a vaccine to end the COVID-19 pandemic, some state sponsored cyber crooks are seen targeting the vaccine’s supply chain either to disrupt the medicine trials or distribution. Or to gather some vital intellectual property.
One such incident has been discovered in a research carried out by IBM’s Threat Intelligence task force and the vaccine supplier in discussion is a cold chain platform named Gavi Vaccine alliance- a non-profit organization that works for the betterment of poor nations by developing immunization.
Technically, we all know that vaccines when developed need to be transported and stored at a certain temperature. For example, Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s vaccine have to be transported at a temperature of -70 degrees Celsius and Moderna’s about to come jab needs to be transported at -20 degrees Celsius.
Sources reporting to Cybersecurity Insiders say that the attacker/s in disguise of a Chinese cold refrigeration supplier reached the database of Gavi Vaccine alliance via a phishing campaign and siphoned data related to usernames and passwords. The motive behind the attack is simple- disrupt the vaccine supply chain and push the world into more suffering.
Security analysts say that vaccine manufacturers, and those involved in vaccine research and development plus the ones involved in the supply chain, have attained a new type of status titled ‘Global Critical Infrastructure’. And hitting such platforms could help in propagating the pandemic- a deadly intention of an Asian country.
IBM researchers aren’t sure whether the hackers got success in their campaign that started in September, but was detected only in October. However, the research team was quick enough to inform the FBI on the issue and feel that the Cybersecurity measures deployed by Gavi Vaccine Alliance might have saved it from severe embarrassment in the international arena.
NOTE- Pfizer and BioNTech have made an official agreement in Nov’2020 with European Commission to supply the vaccine to immunize over 7 million populace in UK and other parts of Europe against the deadly Corona Virus.