Cyberattack On European Medicines Agency

The cyberattack on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been one of the outstanding news this Wednesday. The details of how, when, what the consequences have been, or where it comes from are not known. The only thing that has transpired is the brief statement that the EMA itself published announcing the start of an investigation. This body, "coincidentally", is currently immersed in the relevant evaluations to authorize the use of BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against Covid-19 in the European Union.

It is not the first time, far from it, that a company, organization or institution related to the health sector has suffered cyber attacks, especially this year with the pandemic. Just today the National Cryptological Center explains through its website that 50,000 harmful attacks have been detected against this sector only during 2020, 375 of them achieving their objectives.

What are the motivations for these attacks?

Medical records, with a myriad of sensitive personal data, have become an appetizing temptation whose value on the black market ranges between 50 and 500 dollars, according to the Cryptological Center, so it is not surprising that these crimes They happen again and again using vulnerabilities in computer systems.

Economic objectives abound in much of the news we find. Take, for example, the cyber attack on the pharmaceutical company Zendal, in the Galician town of O PorriƱo, where scammers have managed to seize nine million euros using the phishing technique to impersonate the boss and execute a score of transfers. The subject of the email was related (oh, surprise!) With the manufacture of a vaccine against Coronavirus, and the address of the email from which the requests were sent differed from the original in some small detail.

The simple pursuit of chaos is also linked to the purposes of raising money or stealing personal data. In March the National Police alerted hospitals to a massive cyber incident in order to break the computer system. The way to do it was by sending malicious emails to health personnel. Not even in the US they have been rid of this problem. There, at the beginning of the pandemic, a cyber attack hit the US Health Agency, while in Germany it is being investigated whether there is a link between a security breach that occurred in September and the death of a patient, since after the sabotage the The emergency department was closed for almost two weeks.

As we can see, critical infrastructures are a sweet tooth these days, and it is absolutely necessary to implement measures that protect not only the proper functioning of health-related organizations, but also the data of millions of people stored in them. In this article we commented on some possibilities to improve prevention, being the states themselves who should redouble their efforts in this regard.

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