Hackers are NoVax: they have manipulated the data on the vaccine

After stealing the data on the COVID-19 vaccine hackers are now using them to spread fake news: find the evidence on forums accessible to all.

At the beginning of December a group of hackers managed to breach the computers of the EMA, the European Medicines Agency, and get their hands on data about the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech. Now comes an even more serious news: hackers have also manipulated some files.

The EMA itself revealed this, and it is working with the authorities to find out who are the authors of the attack and what are the consequences. Apparently, however, the motive of the attack is already quite clear: to sow misinformation on the Web about vaccines for the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus. The stolen, and apparently manipulated, data have already been published on the Internet in order to discredit the work of scientists. To support this hypothesis there are information found on a forum and published by BleepingComputer that testify how the fake news campaign related to COVID and vaccines is much more sophisticated than you might think.

The vaccine is fake

On December 31 BleepingComputer found on a forum frequented by hackers, but accessible to all, several messages in which some users claimed to be in possession of data stolen from the EMA. Several sources in the cybersecurity industry told BleepingComputer that the leaked data archives included screenshots of emails, peer review comments (the peer review done by other scientists, on which all of the reliability of modern science is based), and Word, PDF and PowerPoint documents.

The messages also contained links leading to online archives containing the stolen files, accompanied by messages such as "Here's proof of the Pfizer vaccine scam." In the linked archives there were indeed the data stolen from the EMA, but they had been manipulated in order to corroborate the NoVax thesis.

The EMA's comment

It was the EMA itself that made public the fact that hackers broke into its systems in order to manipulate the stolen information, to discredit scientists and in particular the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

What initially appeared to be a cyber-espionage move aimed at acquiring confidential information to sell under the table to some competing pharmaceutical company, then, is also turning out to be at least in part a true disinformation ploy.

"Part of the correspondence was manipulated by the authors before publication in order to undermine confidence in vaccines - comments the EMA in an official note, and then reassure everyone immediately afterwards on the goodness of the vaccine - Two marketing authorizations in the EU for COVID-19 vaccines were granted between late December and early January following an independent scientific evaluation".