Pfizer and BioNTech Announce Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19 Achieved Success in First Interim Analysis from Phase 3 Study. - Themenbild,Symbolfoto:Corona Impfstoff. Pfizer und BioNTech geben erfolgreiche erste Zwischenanalyse ihres COVID-19-Impfstoffkandidaten in laufender Phase-3-Studie bekannt. Einwegspritze mit Impfstoff zur Injektion mit einer Kanuele. BIONTECH Biotechnologie Unternehmen. (Photo by ddp images/Sipa USA) (Sipa via AP Images)

Hackers from different regions are attempting to steal valuable data from leading pharmaceuticals and vaccine researchers directly related to the treatment of COVID-19, Microsoft reported in a blog post.

These hackers reportedly originated from North Korea and Russia, but the blog post does not reveal how serious their attacks were or whether they were successful or not. It only says that most breaches in recent months were unsuccessful.

Hackers backed by China had also been targeting vaccine workers, the US government said while announcing criminal charges.

Microsoft said that most of the targeted firms were located in Canada, France, India, South Korea, and the United States. The company names were not revealed, but most of them had vaccine candidates in different stages of clinical trials.

One of the hacker groups was recognized by Microsoft as Fancy Bear, the Russian military agents that Britain’s National Cyber Security Center said were involved in similar attempts before. The other two hacker groups were reportedly from North Korea’s Lazarus Group.

Most of the attacks attempted to steal the login credentials of people associated with healthcare firms. Russian hackers posed as job recruiters while the North Korean group sent phishing emails disguised as official World Health Organization representatives.