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After a Cyber-attack, COVID 19 Vaccine-Maker Shuts Global Plants

News 11/02/2020 - 11:33 by Swami Nathan

COVID-19 Vaccine-Maker Shuts Global Plants

After enduring an unidentified cyber-attack, an Indian pharmaceutical company has been forced to close operations at several global facilities.

After the announcement, Dr Reddy's, which manufactures COVID-19 remdesivir and favipiravir treatments and has just signed an agreement to manufacture Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine, saw shares plunge by over 4 percent.

The Indian company is the contractor for the Russian COVID-19 "Sputnik V" vaccine, which is about to enter human Phase 2 trials. On Oct. 19, the Drug Control General of India (DCGI) gave the firm the go-ahead.

It is a major producer of generics in the United States, including gastrointestinal, respiratory, pain control, oncology, anti-infectives, pediatrics, and dermatology therapeutics.

The Economic Times announced that in addition to shutting down factories, the drugmaker isolated all data center facilities to apply remedies. Citing sources, ET said that a data breach victimized the firm.

"We have isolated all data centers in the wake of a detected cyber-attack to take appropriate preventive measures", CIO Mukesh Rathi said Thursday night in a media release. "We expect all services to be up in 24 hours, and because of this incident, we do not anticipate any significant effect on our operations".

Operation at some of Dr. Reddy's facilities was interrupted in India, according to the BBC, and phone lines appeared to be down at two U.K. firms. The organization has not published specifics of the attack and has not commented on resources being taken offline.

COVID-19 Deception

This incident may or may not be linked to the involvement of the Hyderabad-based company in the production of COVID-19 vaccines, but espionage linked to pandemic medical research has been an ongoing issue in general. According to analysts, both private and state-sponsored organizations are targeting pharmaceuticals because of the economic and powerful benefits that a good vaccine would offer countries.
In July, the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security warned that APT29 (a.k.a. CozyBear or the Dukes) was a Russia-linked organization targeting British, Canadian, and U.S. research firms. In a likely attempt to get ahead on a coronavirus cure, the APT seeks to pilfer COVID-19 vaccine research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions, DHS cautioned.
The World Health Organization was targeted earlier in the pandemic by the DarkHotel APT community, which was looking to penetrate its networks to steal information.
And in the meantime, the Department of Justice has recently accused Chinese government-linked hackers of spying on the Massachusetts biotech firm Moderna. With nearly $ 1 billion invested and clinical trials underway, the federal government is funding the advancement of Moderna's vaccine research.
There is a strong interest in the pharmaceutical industry for cyber attackers as research and development activities are focused on developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The first person to sell a vaccine would have a major competitive advantage, which is why the pharmaceutical industry has a clear incentive for IP theft.


After enduring an unidentified cyber-attack, an Indian pharmaceutical company has been forced to close operations at several global facilities.