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North Korean hackers stole Covid-19 data from Pfizer, South Korean lawmaker says

February 17, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.7%. 1 min read.

This picture taken on January 14, 2021 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 15 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gesturing from the tribune during a military parade celebrating the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang. (Photo by - / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP) / - South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. / (Photo by -/KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Images)

North Korean hackers stole technology related to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments from US drugmaker Pfizer, according to a South Korean lawmaker.

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)North Korean hackers stole technology related to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments from US drugmaker Pfizer, according to a South Korean lawmaker.

Reuters reported later that month that North Korean hackers were suspected to have carried out a cyberattack against British coronavirus vaccine developer AstraZeneca, posing as recruiters and approaching the pharmaceutical company's staff -- including those working on Covid-19 research -- with fake job offers.

COVAX, an initiative to provide equitable global access to Covid-19 vaccines, said it will provide North Korea with nearly 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus.

But North Korea is likely doing everything it can to get a vaccine to its people, even if it means resorting to stealing.

North Korea said in July it would attempt to develop its own coronavirus vaccine, but few believed Pyongyang had the scientific resources or finances to pursue an endeavor that ended up costing billions of dollars.

With so few cases likely inside North Korea, there are probably not enough infected people within the country to properly test the efficacy of a domestic-made vaccine, Park said.

Even if North Korea could develop an MRNA vaccine like Pfizer's, it's unlikely the country has the special equipment to transport and store it.

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