Hackers Are Targeting the Covid-19 Vaccine ‘Cold Chain’

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, hackers and scammers have focused extraordinary attention on it, whether for espionage or for grift. Now, as pharmaceutical companies prepare to ship long-awaited vaccines, a new round of sophisticated phishing attacks is focused on the complex supply chain that will get them to people in need.

Two of the leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates, by Pfizer and Moderna, have been submitted to the FDA for emergency authorization; the agency is scheduled to evaluate Pfizer’s application on December 10, and Moderna’s one week later. UK regulators approved Pfizer’s vaccine on Wednesday. Which means that the next challenge for both vaccines is transporting them. They must be kept at frigid temperatures—minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit for Moderna, and 94 degrees below for Pfizer—requiring a network of specialists known as the “cold chain.” Today, security researchers at IBM are releasing findings that a campaign has for months targeted a significant

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Valneva Announces Acceleration of Pediatric Development for Lyme Disease Vaccine Candidate

 

  • Phase 2 study VLA15-221 planned to be initiated in Q1 2021, subject to regulatory approval
    • First clinical study of VLA15 that includes a pediatric population, aged 5-17 years
    • Study will include participants from 5-65 years of age and a reduced immunization schedule (Month 0-6 compared to Month 0-2-6)
    • The study will trigger a milestone payment, upon dosing of the first subject, from Pfizer to Valneva of $10 million
  • Phase 3 pivotal efficacy trial is planned to commence in 2022

Saint-Herblain (France), December 2, 2020 – Valneva SE (“Valneva”), a specialty vaccine company focused on prevention of diseases with major unmet needs, today announced its plans to accelerate pediatric development of its Lyme vaccine candidate, VLA15, in collaboration with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), with the planned initiation of study VLA15-221 in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval.

VLA15-221 is planned as a randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study.

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Social media must prepare for flood of Covid-19 vaccine misinformation

Nearly two years ago, public health experts blamed social media platforms for contributing to a measles outbreak by allowing false claims about the risks of vaccines to spread.



Moderna says it will ask US and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection.


© Hans Pennink/AP
Moderna says it will ask US and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection.

Facebook pledged to take tougher action on anti-vaccine misinformation, including making it less prominent in the news feed and not recommending related groups. But shortly after, Facebook-owned Instagram continued to serve up posts from anti-vaccine accounts and hashtags to anyone searching for the word “vaccines.” Despite actions against anti-vaccine content since then — some as recent as last month — Facebook has failed to totally quash the movement on its platforms.

Now, with Covid-19 vaccines potentially making their way to some Americans as soon as this month, the tech companies will

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Frankfurt Pharma Hub Prepares For Covid Vaccine Task

As a string of Covid-19 vaccines near approval, Frankfurt Airport staff are gearing up to handle the unprecedented logistical challenge of transporting millions of life-saving doses worldwide.

Frankfurt is Europe’s largest hub for transporting pharmaceutical goods, and will be key to the success of inoculating millions of people against the deadly coronavirus.

“The stress is increasing now that we’re entering the ‘hot’ phase,” Karin Krestan, Lufthansa Cargo’s director of operations, told AFP during a tour of the temperature-controlled “Cargo Cool Center” terminal.

Krestan, who uses her skills as a former nurse, is sure her team is ready for the task.

The Frankfurt airport has 12,000 square metres (129,000 square feet) of temperature-controlled warehouses, essential for storing medicines The Frankfurt airport has 12,000 square metres (129,000 square feet) of temperature-controlled warehouses, essential for storing medicines Photo: AFP / Thomas Lohnes

“The processes have been established, we’re very confident and we feel well prepared,” she said.

In fact, Max Philipp Conrady, head of freight infrastructure at Fraport, told AFP:

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Vaccine Maker AstraZeneca’s Computer Systems Targeted by Hackers

As the race to develop the COVID-19 vaccine continues, it appears that suspected North Korean hackers attempted to access AstraZeneca’s systems in the last weeks.

Reuters reports that the hackers pretended to be job recruiters and used LinkedIn and WhatsApp to contact AstraZeneca employees with false job offers. Sources told the news outlet that the hackers then sent documents that they claimed were job descriptions but instead were written with harmful code to gain entry into the victims’ computers.

The hackers targeted a “broad set of people” like COVID-19 researchers, but it doesn’t appear that their break-in attempts were successful. AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna have become the top three COVID-19 vaccine developers.

Sources told Reuters that the hackers’ tools and techniques seemed to be that of a current hacking campaign that has been assigned to North Korea. Cyberattacks targeting drugmakers, health bodies, and vaccine scientists have escalated since the outset

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Logmore Launches First Logistics Monitor Designed for COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery

HELSINKI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–November 25, 2020–

Supply chain analytics solution provider Logmore has announced the launch of its latest product. Logmore Dry Ice, a high-spec version of Logmore’s original data recorder, has been adapted for cold and sub-zero conditions. The solution is designed for sensitive shipments, such as the COVID-19 vaccine the moment it becomes available.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201125005841/en/

COVID 19 Logistics Monitor by Logmore (Photo: Logmore)

COVID 19 Logistics Monitor by Logmore (Photo: Logmore)

Since its founding in 2017, Logmore has disrupted logistics monitoring with its use of loggers that sync with the cloud using dynamic QR codes, allowing anyone with a smartphone to update secure systems with the latest conditions and locations of shipments.

Logmore Dry Ice redefines monitoring of cold chain shipments from standard fridge temperatures (2-8°C) all the way down to deep freeze levels of -100°C. This makes it ideal for transporting the COVID-19 vaccines, which require deep

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Facebook plans to woo Biden with vaccine, climate change features: FT

  • Facebook is building a strategy to help get on President-elect Joe Biden’s good side, company sources told the Financial Times.
  • Facebook is reportedly planning to crack down harder on COVID-19 misinformation, and is considering adding an information banner to its site encouraging users to get vaccinated.
  • Facebook is also reportedly looking at ways to encourage users to engage with content about the Paris Climate Agreement, which Biden has pledged to rejoin. The US left the agreement in November.
  • Facebook plans to make Nick Clegg its main point of contact with Washington, the FT reported. Clegg was deputy prime minister in Britain during Biden’s term as vice-president.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook is gearing up to woo President-elect Joe Biden by promoting vaccine and climate change information, according to a report from the Financial Times.

Citing anonymous company “insiders,” the FT reports Facebook is planning to crack down

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North Korean, Russian hackers target COVID-19 vaccine makers

  • North Korean and Russian state-backed hacking groups have tried to target COVID-19 vaccine-makers, Microsoft said in a blog post on Friday.
  • One of the North Korean groups, known as Cerium, tried to gain access to systems by sending “spear-phishing” emails posing as WHO officials.
  • A second North Korean group, pretending to be recruiters, sent emails containing phoney job descriptions.
  •  
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

State-backed hackers are trying audacious tactics to break into the systems of COVID-19 vaccine-makers.

In a blog post Friday, Microsoft detailed several attempted cyberattacks it had detected in recent months that targeted companies working on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Microsoft said three state-hacking groups, one Russian and two from North Korea, conducted the attacks.

Although it did not name the targets, Microsoft said they included seven “prominent” companies involved in researching COVID-19 vaccine and treatment development across the US, Canada, France, India, and South

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Why Disney Could Be The Biggest Vaccine Winner

News that Pfizer and BioNTech had discovered a coronavirus vaccine that was more than 90% effective sent shockwaves through the market last week. News over the weekend that Moderna also had a highly effective vaccine nearing approval for distribution added more power to that shockwave. “Recovery stocks,” including those in consumer discretionary, energy, and banking sectors soared, while tech stocks, especially the big coronavirus winners known as “stay-at-home” stocks, fell on the news.

The announcement signaled a fundamental shift in the market psychology that has defined the pandemic era, as it now seems clear that the pandemic will have a definitive end and one that could come as soon as April. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated that the vaccine could be widely available to Americans by April, with healthcare workers getting access as soon as December.

Of course, with daily

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