E.U.’s Top Drug Regulator Says It’s ‘Fully Functional’ After Cyberattack
The European Union’s top drug regulator, whose approval is necessary for countries of the bloc to begin rolling out the coronavirus vaccine, has begun an investigation after it was hit by a cyberattack, the head of the agency said on Thursday.
The attack will not affect the delivery of the vaccine, the agency’s leader, Emer Cooke, said.
“I can assure you that this will not affect the timeline for the delivery of vaccines, and that we are fully functional,” she said at a hearing at the European Parliament.
The organization, the European Medicines Agency, which is reviewing four vaccine candidates, including one made by Pfizer and BioNTech and one made by Moderna, hasn’t provided details about the target or the source of the attack. But the news has stoked fears that efforts to get the vaccine to nearly 450 million people could be hampered at a time of heightened threats faced by pharmaceutical companies, health care institutions and agencies involved in the vaccine’s production, approval and distribution.
Cybersecurity experts have said that only state-sponsored actors could mount such operations.
- “The intentions behind those attacks are to parasite Western efforts on the vaccine,” said Julien Nocetti, a researcher at the French Institute of International Relations, who studies cybersecurity with a focus on Russian activities.
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