Recent reports have disclosed that a state-sponsored  Chinese hacker group has attacked the IT systems of two Indian vaccine manufacturers which is at the forefront of India’s immunization campaign.

Ever since India has started the production of COVID-19 vaccines, more than 60% of the vaccines are being exported by India worldwide. However, even China has been gifting or selling its own COVID vaccines globally. 

Chinese Hacker Group backed by home-government:

Detailing the hacking attack perpetrated by the Chinese hacking group, called APT 10 or the Stone Panda, has allegedly detected bugs and vulnerabilities in Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India(SII), the two leading vaccine manufacturers. 

APT 10 is said to have targeted the IT infrastructure and supply chain software of these suppliers.

Security experts have determined that the intention of the Chinese hacker group can be zeroed down to the consequence of achieving a competitive advantage over the Indian vaccine manufacturers.

APT 10 has been proactively targeting the SII, which is manufacturing and exporting the Astrazeneca vaccine for countries all over the world. The SII is soon to initiate the production of Novavax shots.

In SII’s case, the Chinese hacker group has reportedly detected several public servers operating inadequate web servers, feeble web applications as well as poor content-management systems.

The infamous Chinese Hacker group APT 10:

The Chinese hacker group APT 10 has been notorious for targeting and hacking various national and systems globally and is a legit government-backed hacker organization.

Back in 2018, the US Department of Justice affirmed that the Chinese hacking group APT 10 has operated collaboratively with the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

Microsoft also had reported detecting cyberattacks from Russian and North Korean bad actors attacking COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing organizations in India, The United States, Canada, South Korea, and France. 

Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN shot, manufactured with the Indian Council of Medical Research, will also be supplied to many countries, including Brazil. 

Back in December 2020, US drug manufacturer Pfizer Inc. and its German collaborator BioNTech SE had reported that documents associated with their COVID-19 vaccine development had been illegally accessed in a cyber hack on Europe’s medicines regulator.