IBM has raised the alarm about hackers targeting important companies in the distribution of Corona vaccines, in an indication that digital spies are directing their attention to the complex logistical work involved in immunizing the world’s population against the new Corona virus.
The company said in a blog: It has revealed a global phishing campaign focusing on organizations linked to the cold chain of the Corona vaccine, which is the process necessary to maintain vaccine doses in extremely cold temperatures while they are in transit.
Understanding how to build a safe cold chain is key to distributing corona vaccines that have been developed by companies, such as Pfizer, because they must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit) or below to avoid spoilage.
IBM discovered a group of hackers gathering information about various aspects of the cold chain, using meticulously designed emails.
The messages are being sent on behalf of an executive at Haier Biomedical, a Chinese cold chain provider that specializes in transporting vaccines and storing biological samples, to increase the likelihood of targets interacting with email.
IBM said the hackers put an extraordinary amount of effort, researching the model, model and pricing of various Haier Biomedical refrigeration units, and were fully aware of any products included in the supply chain to provide a vaccine against a global pandemic.
IBM explained that the fake e-mails were sent across six countries and targeted about 10 different organizations.
Other targets include companies involved in manufacturing solar panels, which are used to run pollen refrigerators, in warm countries, and companies for petrochemical products that could be used to produce dry ice.
This would have allowed them to understand the infrastructure governments intend to use to distribute vaccines, and the company made clear that information about the vaccine – which could affect life and the global economy – is likely to be a valuable target for nation states.
It is not clear who is behind the spying campaign against the supply chain of the Corona vaccine, but IBM said that the evolution of their methods indicates a nation-state, and believes that the campaign began in September 2020.
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an alert encouraging organizations associated with storing and transporting the vaccine to be vigilant about attacks linked to the IBM report.