Cyber Hackers Hit COVID-19 Vaccine Trials via Strike on eRT While Patient Dies in Germany Due to Ransomware Attack

Cyber Hackers Hit COVID-19 Vaccine Trials via Strike on eRT While Patient Dies in Germany Due to Ransomware Attack

eResearchTechology (ERT), an “eClinical” software company known for its electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePRO) solution, has been used in literally hundreds if not thousands of clinical trials and isn’t much thought of as it simply is one of the more prevalent applications used for the conduction of a study. That’s changed: first, it's become important for the intense rush of clinical trials associated with COVID-19; second, the system was hacked recently, a target for ransomware pirates that actually impeded some COVID-19 trials. Several customers, including the largest contract research organization (CRO) IQVIA (Quintiles and IMS), were forced to go back to pen and paper to conduct their COVID-19 and other trials. Some of the CRO’s customers include Bristol Myers Squibb as well as the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine trial (AZD1222). Other waves of hacking and malware are causing havoc and even a death in Germany at University Hospital Düsseldorf.

As reported by Nicole Perlroth for the New York Times, no patient data was compromised and thankfully it appears IQVIA is running systems to its quality management system (e.g. regular backups, etc.), but the incident evidences the ve...

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