20:46 GMT28 February 2021
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    It is unknown whether the alleged hackers succeeded in getting useful information from the pharmaceutical company.

    North Korea has attempted to hack into American pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer, one of the companies that deliver COVID-19 vaccine, in an attempt to steal the vaccine and treatment technology, South Korean National Intelligence Service said, according to Yonhap.

    The National Intelligence Service revealed this information at a closed-door session of the National Assembly's intelligence committee, the news agency said.

    The Gavi vaccine alliance said earlier this month that North Korea had asked for COVID-19 vaccines and was expected to get almost 2 million doses.

    In December, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that North Korean hackers had targeted at least six pharmaceutical companies working on COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

    In May, after another accusation of cyberattack by Washington, the North Korean Foreign Ministry accused the US of trying to "tarnish the image of our state," and suggested that even US cybersecurity experts had failed to find any evidence of the alleged hacking activities.

    These are not rare occasions where North Korea is getting accused of malign cyberactivity. The United States, some European countries, South Korea and others have repeatedly accused Pyongyang of engaging in wide-ranging hacking campaigns. In 2014, DPRK was accused of the mass hack of Sony Pictures, despite voices in the cybersecurity community saying the company's network might have been compromised from the inside.

    vaccine, COVID-19, North Korea, South Korea, US
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