(Reuters) – A Chinese state hacking group has in recent weeks targeted the IT systems of two Indian vaccine manufacturers whose coronavirus shots are used in the country's immunization campaign, cyber information Cyfirma told Reuters.
Rivals China and India have both sold or gifted COVID-19 shots to many countries. India produces more than 60% of all vaccines sold in the world.
Goldman Sachs-backed Cyfirma, based in Singapore and Tokyo, says that the Chinese hacking group APT10, also known as Stone Panda, had identified gaps and vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure. and supply chain software for Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine manufacturer.
"The real motivation here is actually to filter out intellectual property rights and gain a competitive advantage over Indian pharmaceutical companies," said Cyfirma's CEO Kumar Ritesh, a former senior cyber official with the British foreign intelligence service MI6.
He said that APT1
"In the case of the Serum Institute, they have found a number of their public servers running weak web servers. These are vulnerable web servers," Ritesh said, referring to the hackers.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
SII and Bharat Biotech declined to comment. The Office of the Director General of the State Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said the case had been referred to its Chief of Operations, SS Sarma.
Cyfirma said in a statement that it had informed The CERT authorities and that they had acknowledged the threat.
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