IBM has detected a campaign of “high-precision” computer attacks against the cold equipment chain that will serve to facilitate the distribution of vaccines against covid-19.
The series of attacks, detected by an investigation by the US anti-cyber crime department, began in September this year and was aimed at the European Commission and five countries in particular: Germany, Italy, South Korea, Czech Republic and Taiwan.
The target was organizations linked to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance’s Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform.
Some vaccines, such as those developed by Pfizer, must be stored at temperatures below minus 70 degrees to preserve effectiveness.
“While the authorship of this campaign cannot be firmly attributed, the accuracy of the attack on key global executives and organizations bears the stamp of a state-sponsored action“pointed out IBM.
Among the targets of the organized attacks are the European Commission’s Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union, as well as organizations in the sectors of energy, manufacturing, website creation, software and online security solutions.
The method used by hackers in these attacks is known as “spear-phishing” and involves sending e-mail messages with a fake sender, posing as a key person in a Chinese biomedical company, but leading to a website loaded with malicious content (malware).
The information sought by the hackers is related to the transport and distribution of vaccines, pointed out IBM, but until now it is not known if the attacks were successful.