A ransomware attack affected trials with the coronavirus vaccine being developed in Argentina

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It was aimed at the software used by the AstraZeneca company, the same company that gave its technology to produce the dose in the country.

The software provider eResearch Technology was the victim of a ransomware-type hacker attack that led to clinical trials and testing of the vaccine for Covid-19 by AstraZeneca, the same that occurs in Argentina, and Bristol Myers Squibb, which develops rapid tests to detect the coronavirus.

Eresearch Technology recently suffered a ransomware attack that hijacked their systems and prevented workers from tracking trials and patients with digital media by encrypt equipment information.

As reported in The New York Times, the attack occurred on September 20, forcing the company to shut down its systems, as well as to contact external cybersecurity experts and the FBI.

EresearchTechnology is a software provider and its clients include IQVIA, which helps with testing the Vaccine for Covid-19 from AstraZeneca. It is the same firm that transferred the necessary technology to the laboratory Mabxience to produce the active ingredient of the vaccine in Argentina.

This company claimed that the attack had a “limited impact” in your tests, and that you have no record of any data being compromised or stolen. As a security measure, they also had a backup of all encrypted information.

For its part, Bristol Myers Squibb, a pharmaceutical consortium that develops rapid tests to detect the coronavirus, also assured that the cyberattack had a “limited impact.”

According to the aforementioned medium, other EresearchTechnology clients had to resort directly to pen and paper to continue with the tests, which meant delays.

In September, for example, it was known that a ransomware attack on Dusseldorf University Hospital in Germany, the emergency department of the center collapsed, forcing the emergency room to be temporarily closed. As a result, a seriously ill patient passed away while being transferred to another hospital.

A few months earlier, at the beginning of the pandemic, Spanish hospitals suffered a ransomware-type attack to disable their systems and demand a ransom in exchange for releasing them.

Cybercriminals targeted healthcare personnel with emails claiming to have important information about Covid-19 as a decoy.

Ransomware (malicious code used to extort its victims) attacks was one of the fastest developing areas in the second quarter of the year, with some operators abandoning the trend of doxing and leaking random data, and moving on to auction the stolen data on the dark web, according to a report published by cybersecurity company ESET.

It also appeared on the Android platform under the guise of a contact tracing of COVID-19 targeting users in Canada.

Ransomware generally spreads via emails, exploit kits or as part of illegal software, and the most common strains were Phobos, CrySiS, or STOP ransomware.


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