North Korea attempted to steal information about COVID-19 vaccines and other treatments by hacking the drugmaker Pfizer, a South Korean lawmaker said Tuesday.
Ha Tae-keung said that he and other lawmakers were briefed by South Korea’s intelligence agency about the North’s attempts to obtain coronavirus-related technology.
“There were attempts to steal COVID vaccine and treatment technology during cyber attacks and Pfizer was hacked,” he said.
The spy agency denied that it had mentioned the pharmaceutical company by name, but Ha said he saw documents saying, “North Korea stole Pfizer (vaccine information).”
Ha said the lawmakers were required to return the documents at the end of the closed-door briefing, but added that wording about Pfizer “was so clear that I didn’t even ask about that verbally.”
Pfizer did not have an immediate comment.
The alleged hacking comes after reports last year that North Korea attempted to break into the networks of at least nine health care firms, including Johnson & Johnson, Novavax Inc. and AstraZeneca.
The Hermit Kingdom has insisted it has reported no coronavirus infections since the pandemic began — a claim widely doubted by experts who note that it shares a border with China, the original epicenter of the outbreak.
With Post wires