Targeting of companies involved in vaccine development
Date of report
  • November 2020
North Korean hackers targeted at least six companies involved in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Masquerading as recruiters on WhatsApp and LinkedIn, the hackers used documents containing fake job descriptions to install malware on computers belonging to company staff.
Suspected victims
  • Companies involved in vaccine development including Johnson & Johnson and Novavax in the United States; AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom; and Genexine, Shin Poong Pharmaceutical Co., and Celltrion in South Korea
Suspected state sponsor
  • Korea (Democratic People's Republic of)
Type of incident
  • Espionage
Target category
  • Private sector
Victim government reaction
  • Unknown