Recently, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and BioNTech announced a foreign entity accessed documents related to a COVID-19 vaccine through a cyberattack.
The news came a few days after the UK administered its first COVID-19 vaccine shots to its patients. BioNTech and Pfizer developed that vaccine.
The EMA, the agency in charge of evaluating vaccines, is “working on approval of 2 COVID-19 vaccines,” BBC reported.
BioNTech assured the cyberattack will not affect the timeline needed for that approval.
EMA also released a statement about the cyberattack. According to EMA, the agency has already launched an investigation and in close cooperation with law enforcement. However, as of now, they cannot provide any more details of the incident.
Other Countries Affected by Attacks Related to Vaccine Development
The cyberattack against EMA is not the first time other entities have tried to steal data on vaccine development.
In fact, early this year, the UK National Cyber Security Center warned that “Russian spies are targeting organizations trying to develop” COVID-19 vaccines from the UK, US, and Canada.
Also, last week, there’s a report saying North Korean hackers have targetted the US, the UK, and South Korean pharmaceutical companies. According to the report, hackers from North Korea almost infiltrated around six pharmaceutical companies working on COVID-19 treatments.
Opinion: It Would Take More Than the Pandemic To Unite the World
With the pandemic happening on a global scale, an optimist might think, countries would work together to defeat the virus. However, it seems national interests are still the ones dominating the world. For example, just look at how countries like China, the US, and the UK, and others point fingers at each other when it comes to accountability.
Globally, around 69,664,639 people have already contracted COVID-19. Moreover, in almost one year, around 1.5 million have already died from it.
And yet, despite the deaths, the recent events of foreign entities trying to steal vaccine information for their own interest make you think that humanity still has a long way to go before countries will unite to work together.