01/12/2020

Covid19 Clinical Trial Data Hacking

State-sponsored hackers from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are currently engaged in concerted attempts to steal coronavirus vaccine secrets in what security experts describe as “an intellectual property war”.

They accuse hostile-state hackers of trying to obtain clinical trial results early and seize sensitive information at a time when a range of vaccines are close to being approved for the public.

Microsoft said most of the targets - located in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the United States - were "directly involved in researching vaccines and treatments for COVID-19." It did not name the targets but said most had vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical trials. Microsoft identified one of the state-backed hacker groups as Fancy Bear, the Russian military agents who Britain's National Cyber Security Center said in July were behind such intrusion attempts. Two others were North Korea's Lazarus Group and a group Microsoft calls Cerium.

Clinical trials are a data-intensive domain where a large amount of data is created, disseminated, stored, and accessed daily. These attacks show that there are serious limitations to using conventional cryptographic primitives and access control models to address security and privacy concerns in an increasingly cloud-based environment in the pharmaceutical industry.

ClinTex CTi is currently supporting the pharmaceutical industry by developing the Clinical Trials Intelligence (CTi) Platform. This is an integrated solution for clinical trial data and analytics, driving clinical trial efficiency whilst protecting intellectual property. 

CTi is secure by design that provides the capability to achieve decentralized consensus and consistency, and resilience to intentional and/or unintentional attacks.  Also, any unauthorized modifications can be easily identified, thus improving clinical data quality which is essential to demonstrate to FDA/EMA for new drug approvals.

Looking back over 2020, the news has been dominated by Covid-19 – the many who have lost loved ones, and the billions who have been affected, both health-wise and economically . However, as we both look back and also see the light at the end of the tunnel, the use case for ClinTex CTi is clear. Big Pharma will now be looking to blockchain to provide a secure, collaborative platform to maximise clinical trial efficiency – ClinTex CTi are in prime position to support this paradigm shift.