Cyberattack Launched Against EU Medicines Agency

Cyberattack Launched Against EU Medicines Agency.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced it has been hit by a cyber-attack. The agency is currently working on approval of two Covid-19 vaccines, which it expects to conclude within weeks. The EMA would not reveal the nature of the cyber-attack, whether it was successful, or if it was linked to the vaccine approval process which it is deeply involved in.

Over the last year, there has been a string of warnings about hacking threats against vaccine-makers and public health bodies. The agency authorises the use of medicines across the European Union. Apart from all the other studies, it is involved in, it is trying to decide if the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which has just begun to be rolled out in the UK, and another made by Moderna, are safe for use in EU countries.

“EMA has been the subject of a cyber-attack,” it said in a brief statement on its website.

“The Agency has swiftly launched a full investigation, in close co-operation with law enforcement and other relevant entities.” However, it declined to provide any further details of any damage caused while the investigation is being carried out- a spokesperson for the agency said it was still “functional”.

The UK accused Russian-based, Kremlin-linked hackers in July of targeting labs conducting coronavirus vaccine research. Cybercriminals also have tried to attack several pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines including Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, AstraZeneca and South Korean laboratories, according to Microsoft.

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Tony Winterburn

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