Washington, December 2: Suspected North Korean hackers recently tried to break into the systems of various health organisation and research centres amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by Reuters. It said that as many as nine medical facilities and organisations were attacked by the North Korean hackers. US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and vaccine developer Novavax Inc, were also tried to be hacked by them. Hackers are trying to break into the system of various organisations that are the key players in the development of COVID-19 vaccine. North Korean Hackers Tried to Break-In To COVID-19 Vaccine Developer AstraZeneca's System, Says Report.

Novavax spokeswoman Amy Speak told Reuters that company was aware of this threat and was coordinating with government agencies and private cybersecurity experts.“We are confident we can continue to progress with our COVID-19 vaccine candidate without disruption and that these incursions do not pose a risk to the integrity of our data,” she added. World News | Microsoft: Russian, North Korean Hackers Target Vaccine Work.

According to investigators who are looking into the matter, the hacking attempts began in September, wherein the hackers used web domains mimicking online login portals to try and trick staff at the targeted organisations into revealing their passwords. Recently, North Korean hackers were suspected to break into the system of UK drug maker and COVID-19 vaccine developer, AstraZeneca.

North Korea has not officially reported any COVID-19 case in the country. However, according to a recent report , country's head leader Kim Jong Un was quoted by state media as ordering officials to intensify their anti-coronavirus research.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 02, 2020 08:01 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).