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US News North Korea wants to flood the black market with counterfeit Pfizer vaccines

09:30  25 february  2021
09:30  25 february  2021 Source:   korii.slate.fr

Covid-19. North Korea tried to hack Pfizer

 Covid-19. North Korea tried to hack Pfizer data © AFP North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. North Korean hackers have sought to break into the computer systems of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to find information on the vaccine and treatments for the coronavirus, media reported on Tuesday citing South Korean intelligence.

Comme au spectacle. | STR / AFP / KCNA VIA KNS © As if on show. | STR / AFP / KCNA VIA KNS As at the show. | STR / AFP / KCNA VIA KNS

Fake currencies , crypto theft , atomic espionage , sale of weapons , drugs or drugs : as reminds Business Insider , North Korea has become an expert in counterfeiting and various trafficking, organized by the regime to fuel an economy crippled by international sanctions, even to finance its nuclear program .

Neighbor of China, placed under a severe bell which, looks like a real health dictatorship , the country has not been officially affected by the Covid-19. These claims of invincibility to the virus, however, do not prevent Kim Jong-un's hackers from taking a close interest in international vaccine research.

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Initial alerts on these espionage attempts were launched by Microsoft in November 2020 , but did not only concern Korea North.

In early February 2020, South Korea indicated more precisely that its northern neighbor had attempted to break into Pfizer 's computer servers to extort secrets related to the vaccine developed with the German firm BioNtech.

The success or failure of this cyber-money has not been officially confirmed by Pfizer. According to sources in European intelligence cited by Business Insider, this was likely not a destructive or ransomware-type attack at will, but an attempt to steal industrial and health data.

Black market

The objective: to find the serum that is both the most effective and the easiest to copy, to then sell it massively on an international black market. "North Korea will not have access to Pfizer's vaccine until a long time after having got hold of those from China or Russia," explains one or one of these anonymous to the American site. But they want to be able to decide which one will be easier to counterfeit and launch on the black market. ”

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The same source indicates that Pfizer's vaccine, designed like Moderna 's around recent technology, is probably much more complex to manufacture, store and transport than those designed in China or Russia, two countries which each have promised to provide millions of doses of their own serum to a country that claims to be free of patients.

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If it were so simple to produce the Pfizer vaccine, Europe would probably not suffer from such a delay in its innoculation campaign. But these attempts at espionage by North Korea, and the risk of a black market in vaccines with uncertain health security and troubled financial intentions, fueling the debate on the question of the “patent waiver”.

Allowed by international texts , demanded by nations such as India or South Africa , this temporary lifting of patents on vaccines would increase production tenfold and supply the whole world more widely, poor countries included.

Yet it comes up against strong opposition from many Western countries , including France despite the speeches of its president on the imperative of global solidarity in the face of the pandemic.

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© Provided by Le Point N new measures, new reports and highlights: an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic in the world. Gradual easing in Germany German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday evening accepted a gradual unlocking of the anti-Covid system in Germany, yielding to growing discontent in public opinion and within her own government seven months before the legislative elections.

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