August 15, 2022

TheCyberThrone

Thinking Security ! Always

Pfizer Suffers Insider Threat

Pfizer has sued a longtime employee for allegedly stealing “scores” of confidential documents, including some related to its COVID-19 vaccine.

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Pfizer said Chun Xiao Li breached her confidentiality agreement by uploading more than 12,000 files without permission to her personal accounts and devices from her company issued laptop.The alleged materials include a “playbook” containing internal assessments and recommendations about the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer’s relationship with its German vaccine partner, and presentations related to cancer antibodies.

Pfizer said Li, an associate director of statistics, tried repeatedly to cover her tracks, even providing a “decoy” laptop to fool it into thinking what she did with the files. Pfizer said Li is resigning after 15 years at the company, and appears to have an offer to join Xencor Inc

Li could not immediately be reached for comment through her LinkedIn account. Xencor is not a defendant in the lawsuit. Pfizer said competitors have been trying to recruit its employees “relentlessly, especially during 2021.”

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In an order late on Tuesday, U.S. District court temporarily blocked Li from using Pfizer’s trade secrets, and said the company’s lawyers can review accounts and devices where she might have stored them.

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