North Korea ‘starts testing its own Covid vaccine’ made with ‘data stolen by hackers’

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The Biological Industry Research Centre of Kim Il-sung University is said to be carrying out the development of the vaccine, despite the hermit nation reporting no cases of the deadly virus. Early clinical trials have been completed and further tests are reported to have been carried out on suspected coronavirus patients. Mun Chong Hyun, the head of the ESTsecurity Security Response Centre (ESRC), claimed it is hard to keep track of what data was taken as there have been several attacks on overseas pharmaceutical companies by the group, dubbed Bureau 325, since October.

He told Daily NK: “Because of the nature of cyber attacks, it’s hard to exactly confirm what kind of data North Korea stole, but it’s possible that some data was taken.”

The group is also reported to share their findings with Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong.

The North Korean vaccine team is said to have no idea how effective the jab will be due to lack of research, but despot leader Kim still demands to see results.

An unnamed source said: “They secured enough know-how through hacking, but they don’t have the capacity to produce vaccines.

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“But because the Supreme Leader directly ordered a vaccine to be independently developed, they have to show something in the way of results.”

North Korea has taken extreme measures to keep Covid out of the country.

The biggest measure was cutting China off and even laying landmines along its border.

In December, the North Korean military reportedly executed a man by firing squad after he broke covid restrictions.

He was reportedly shot in front of a crowd of citizens in an attempt to ensure they would follow the strict pandemic rules.

Last October, North Korea hacking group Kimusky, which is also known as Hidden Cobra, was claimed to be targeting think-tanks, as well as diplomatic and high-level organisations in Japan, South Korea and the US.

The group hid under the guise of South Korean reporters, according to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

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They said: “Posing as South Korean reporters, Kimsuky exchanged several benign interview-themed emails with their intended target to ostensibly arrange an interview date and possibly build rapport.

“The emails contained the subject line, ‘Skype Interview requests of [redacted TV show] in Seoul.’ and began with a request to have the recipient appear as a guest on the show.

“The APT group invited the targets to a Skype interview on the topic of inter-Korean issues and denuclearisation negotiations on the Korean Peninsula.”

CISA added that Kimusky sent emails with malicious documents after recipients agreed to an interview.

When the date of the interview got closer, another email was sent cancelling the interview.

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