After a number of warnings had been issued by organisations including INTERPOL, it seems that last week the first confirmed cyber attack on the COVID-19 vaccine took place, with valuable data appearing to have been accessed.
The European Medical Agency (EMA) issued a statement late last week that conformed that they had been subject to a cyber attack that had resulted in some documents relating to the world’s first approved vaccine, developed jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech. The documents were stored on the EMA’s servers and the breach appears to have happened in the last few weeks. The type of information stored with the EMA will normally include commercially confidential data about the drugs developed, the results of trials and details of the supply and distribution – a scenario highlighted as a major concern already by those involved within the supply chain.
The breach, which is still being investigated by the EMA, will not impact the current plan to distribute the vaccine within the UK but it does raise concerns about fake vaccines starting to appear within the supply chain which could contain potentially dangerous elements or just as bad, no active ingredients at all.
The attack once again reminds us of our need to be vigilant for any unusual activity we see concerning the vaccine.