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Cybersecurity expert: Hackers are targeting COVID-19 vaccine supply chain

Black market vaccine also reported on Dark Web
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Posted at 6:24 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 18:24:18-05

TAMPA, Fla. — With the COVID-19 vaccine expected to soon be readily available, an internet security expert is warning that hackers are already targeting the supply chain.

Michael Bruemmer, who is Vice President of Experian Data Breach Resolution Group, says cybercriminals are trying to hack into vaccine supply chain networks.

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“It’s not what they’re going to do, it’s what they are already doing,” said Bruemmer.

Among the targets are distribution companies that operate refrigerated trucks and warehouses.

“Russia, China as well as North Korea, have already infiltrated the cold chain environment system that is being put together to have the 40 different companies that are making vaccine get distribution across the world,” said Bruemmer.

IBM last Friday identified a “Global, precision-targeted phishing campaign,” according to an announcement of a security training webinar aimed at protecting these companies.

Bruemmer says another danger is black market vaccines.

“There are places on the dark web today that in fact are offering the vaccine for sale before it’s even been distributed,” he said. “We know it’s not available, but they’re offering it at a high price just to capitalize on people’s sense of urgency.”

Bruemmer worries those vaccines may not be real, and if they are, may not be safe or effective, if they weren’t adequately chilled or properly stored.

“They say if the pandemic doesn’t kill you, the vaccine might. I’d hate to see that prediction come true,” he said.

Bruemmer says cybercriminals are spreading disinformation about vaccines’ safety.

“And of course there’s other fake news about Bill Gates has installed a chip in the vaccine to trace you or that the vaccine’s gonna make men sterile. It doesn’t stop there, and it’s gonna continue,” he said.

As the vaccine rollout gets underway, Bruemmer cautions people to seek news from government sources and trusted news outlets, just social media.

He stresses that despite the disinformation campaign, vaccination is the only way to quickly end the pandemic.

“You have to have 80 or 90 percent of people take the vaccine,” Bruemmer said.

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