The investigation of a cyberattack on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in December has discovered that some documentation related to COVID-19 vaccines was accessed and manipulated before being released online, according to the agency.
In December 2020, the EMA reported that it had been the subject of a cyberattack. A full investigation was launched in collaboration with law enforcement and other relevant bodies.
The investigation discovered that some of the unlawfully accessed documents related to COVID-19 medicines and vaccines belonging to third parties. These included internal/confidential email correspondence dating from November, relating to evaluation processes for COVID-19 vaccines.
The EMA says some of the correspondence was manipulated by the perpetrators prior to publication on the internet in a way which could undermine trust in vaccines.
In a statement, the EMA said: “Amid the high infection rate in the EU, there is an urgent public health need to make vaccines available to EU citizens as soon as possible. Despite this urgency, there has always been consensus across the EU not to compromise the high-quality standards and to base any recommendation on the strength of the scientific evidence on a vaccine’s safety, quality and efficacy, and nothing else.”