North Korea conducted a cyberattack on companies connected with vaccine development, an official in South Korea has said, citing intelligence reports.

The North tried to hack at least one South Korean pharmaceutical company developing a Covid-19 vaccine, lawmaker Ha Tae-keung told reporters after attending a closed-door briefing by the National Intelligence Service (NIS).

The lawmaker who is a member of the parliamentary intelligence committee, said the NIS did not specify which company had been targeted, but there was no damage from the hacking attempts. 

US-based cyber security firm Cybereason said earlier this month a group of hackers from North Korea was targeting companies working on the research and development of Covid-19 vaccines, and similar claims were made by Microsoft.

The software giant made allegations against Russian hackers as well. However, Russian officials previously said they did not see any reason for such cyber intrusions, as the country is developing several vaccines by itself.

Pyongyang did not comment on the recent allegations. In May, it denounced the accusations of cyber warfare made by the US as a smear campaign.

North Korea announced in July that it was developing its own vaccine for Covid-19.

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