Hackers from North Korea are suspected to have carried out a cyberattack against British coronavirus vaccine developer AstraZeneca in recent weeks, Reuters reported.
According to the report North Korean hackers posed as recruiters on networking site LinkedIn and WhatsApp in order to approach AstraZeneca staff, including those working on coronavirus research, with fake job offers.
The suspected hackers then sent documents – some using Russian email addresses purporting to be job descriptions that were in fact laced with malicious code designed to give the hackers access to the victim’s computers.
The reported claimed that the hackers are not thought to have been successful.
The reporting comes after a South Korean lawmaker said the country had also thwarted North Korean attempts to hack its own pharmaceutical companies working on coronavirus vaccines.
Speaking on Friday, lawmaker Ha Tae-Keung did not say when the hacking occurred or which drug companies were targeted, but confirmed North Korea had made attempts to hack South Korean pharmaceutical companies that are developing local vaccines for the coronavirus.