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FBI’s Email System was Hacked to Send Fake Cybersecurity Warnings

FBI Email Hack

According to Bleeping Computer, hackers targeted the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s (FBI) email systems, sending out hundreds of bogus messages claiming that recipients had been victims of a “sophisticated chain attack.” The Spamhaus Project, a nonprofit organisation that investigates email spammers, first discovered the emails.

The emails falsely allege that Vinny Troia was behind the bogus assaults and that Troia is linked to the notorious hacker gang The Dark Overlord – the same bad guys that released the fifth season of Orange Is the New Black. Troia is a well-known cybersecurity researcher who is the founder of two dark web security firms, NightLion and Shadowbyte.

The hackers were able to send emails to over 100,000 addresses, according to Bleeping Computer, all of which were scraped from the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) database. Hackers utilised the FBI’s public-facing email system, according to Bloomberg, making the communications appear more official. The headers are authenticated as coming from FBI servers using the Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) process, which is part of the system Gmail uses to stick brand logos on verified corporate emails. Cybersecurity researcher Kevin Beaumont also attests to the email’s legitimacy, stating that the headers are authenticated as coming from FBI servers using the Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) process, which is part of the system Gmail uses to stick brand logos on verified corporate emails.

The FBI issued a statement about the incident, stating that it is a “ongoing situation” and that “the impacted hardware has been taken offline.” Apart from that, the FBI claims it has no additional information to disclose at this time.

The spam effort was most likely carried out in an attempt to discredit Troia, according to Bleeping Computer. Troia speculates in a tweet that the attack was carried out by a person known only as “Pompompurin.” According to Bleeping Computer, the same person has allegedly tried to harm Troia’s reputation in the past in similar ways.

Pompompurin is also linked to the event, according to a revelation by computer security reporter Brian Krebs, who claims the man messaged him from an FBI email address after the attacks were launched, saying, “Hi, its pompompurin.” Check the email’s headers; it’s coming from an FBI server.” Pompompurin told KrebsOnSecurity that the breach was intended to draw attention to security flaws in the FBI’s email infrastructure.

In a statement to KrebsOnSecurity, Pompompurin claimed, “I could’ve 1000 percent leveraged this to send more legit-looking emails, fool corporations into passing over data, etc.” The person also told the outlet that they took advantage of a security flaw on the FBI’s Law Enforcement Enterprise (LEEP) portal and used a one-time password embedded in the page’s HTML to sign up for an account. Pompompurin claims they were able to change the sender’s address and email body from there, allowing them to carry out the large spam campaign.

With that level of access, the attack may have been far more serious than a false alarm that alerted system administrators. President Joe Biden approved a bug repair earlier this month, requiring civilian federal entities to patch any known threats. Following the devastating attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds, Biden signed an executive order in May aimed at improving the nation’s cyber defences.

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iOS Beta Blurs Nude Images for Children

iOS Beta Version

According to MacRumors, iOS 15.2’s latest beta includes an Apple Communication Safety feature to the Messages app. The opt-in tool scans incoming and outgoing photographs for “sexually explicit” material in order to safeguard minors from improper imagery. Any photographs that fit this description will be blurred, and the youngster will be informed about the contents and urged not to look at them. The function, which works with Apple’s current Family Sharing system, is also intended to provide resources for youngsters who are in need of assistance.

The version of the feature included in the newest beta of iOS 15.2 differs from what Apple announced in August in that it would not notify parents if a child views a sexually graphic image. This factor, according to critics like Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic teacher Kendra Albert, might out LGBT or transgender youngsters to their parents. According to MacRumors, the feature could have caused safety concerns in its earlier form if a parent was violent or abusive.

According to News Media, youngsters will instead have the option of notifying someone they trust about a flagged photo, which will be distinct from the option of unblurring and viewing the image. The checks are done on-device and have no effect on end-to-end encryption.

The Communication Safety feature was first introduced in August as part of a trio of measures aimed at preventing sexual abuse of youngsters. However, in response to privacy advocates’ concerns, the firm said that the functionalities will be delayed until the following month.

The CSAM-detection (child sexual abuse imagery detection) tool, which examines a user’s iCloud Photos and submits offensive content to Apple censors and sparked the most outrage from privacy activists, is not the same as Communication Safety. Also coming soon is an upgrade to Siri search that will provide resources whenever a user searches for issues related to child sexual abuse. It’s unknown when these two improvements will be released, and no reports of them appearing in Apple’s public beta software have surfaced.

It’s worth mentioning that the features included in the current beta of iOS 15.2 could change drastically before the official release, and they could even be removed entirely. A manual AirTag scanning capability has also been included to the current beta, as well as the option to pass on your iCloud data to a loved one in the event of your death.

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Elon Musk Sells Tesla Shares Worth $6.9 billion

Elon Musk Tesla Share

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold 5.1 million shares for $6.9 billion this week, according to the company’s regulatory filings, which were disclosed on Friday. The stock transaction is estimated to generate $1.4 billion in capital gains tax.

Following the results of a Twitter poll in which he questioned if he should sell 10% of his interest in electric vehicle producer Tesla or not, the entrepreneur sold Tesla shares.

Tesla’s CEO tweeted on Saturday, “Given the recent focus on unrealized gains as a form of tax avoidance, I recommend selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you agree with this?”

The poll found that 58 percent of the 3.5 million people voted in favor of Musk selling his stocks, while 42 percent voted against it. However, regulatory documents revealed that Musk had begun selling a few shares before launching the Twitter poll.

The sell-off of Tesla shares, on the other hand, has caused a drop in the stocks of electric vehicle makers. Overall, the company’s stock sank 15.4 percent last week. The decline occurred after Tesla’s market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion. The company’s stock has been plummeting since Monday and has now plummeted even lower.

Even after selling 5.1 million Tesla shares, Musk still owns 167 million of the company’s stock. Musk is currently the richest guy on the planet. The entrepreneur is worth $294 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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Astronomers Discovered a Planet Outside of Our Galaxy

Whirlpool Galaxy
Picture is taken from NASA

The probable exoplanet candidate is found in Messier 51 (M51), which is also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy due to its unusual profile.

Planets outside of our Solar System are known as exoplanets. Until now, astronomers have discovered all known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, nearly all of them within 3,000 light-years of Earth. Exoplanets in M51 would be 28 million light-years away, thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way.

“By searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, we’re hoping to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds,” said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the work, which was published in Nature Astronomy.

This new discovery is based on transits, which occur when a planet passes in front of a star, blocking some of the star’s light and causing a distinctive dip. Astronomers have searched for dips in optical light, electromagnetic radiation that humans can see, using both ground-based and space-based observatories, such as those on NASA‘s Kepler and TESS missions. This has led to the finding of thousands of planets.

Instead, Di Stefano and colleagues looked for dips in the brightness of X-rays emitted by X-ray bright binaries. A neutron star or black hole pulls gas in from a closely orbiting companion star in these bright systems. Near a neutron star or black hole, material becomes superheated and glows in X-rays.

Because the zone producing bright X-rays is small, a planet passing in front of it might block most or all of the X-rays, making the transit easier to identify. This could allow exoplanets to be discovered at considerably greater distances than existing optical light transit investigations, which must be able to detect minute changes in light since the planet only blocks a portion of the star’s light.

The scientists utilised this strategy to find an exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1, a binary system in M51. A black hole or neutron star orbits a companion star with a mass of nearly 20 times that of the Sun in this binary system. They discovered a three-hour X-ray transit using Chandra data, during which the X-ray output dropped to zero. The researchers believe that the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 is around the size of Saturn and orbits the neutron star or black hole at nearly twice the distance Saturn orbits the Sun, based on this and other data.

While this is an intriguing study, more data is needed to confirm the interpretation of the planet as an extragalactic exoplanet. One problem is that the planet candidate’s huge orbit means it won’t cross in front of its binary partner for another 70 years, thereby putting an end to any attempts at confirmation for decades.

“Unfortunately, we’d have to wait decades to witness another transit to establish that we’re seeing a planet,” said co-author Nia Imara of the University of California in Santa Cruz. “And we wouldn’t know exactly when to look because of the uncertainties about how long it takes to orbit.”

Could a cloud of gas and dust moving in front of the X-ray source have caused the dimming? This is an implausible explanation, according to the researchers, because the characteristics of the event recorded in M51-ULS-1 are not consistent with the passage of such a cloud. The data, on the other hand, support the notion of a planet candidate.

“We know we’re making a big claim, so we expect other astronomers to scrutinise it closely,” said Julia Berndtsson of Princeton University in New Jersey, a co-author. “We believe we have a compelling case, and this is how science works.”

If there is a planet in this system, it has most certainly had a turbulent history and violent past. A supernova explosion that formed the neutron star or black hole would have required an exoplanet in the system to survive. The future could be hazardous as well. The partner star could also explode as a supernova at some point, blasting the planet with extraordinarily high amounts of radiation once more.

Di Stefano and her colleagues used Chandra and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton to search for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy. Their search included 55 M51 systems, 64 Messier 101 (the “Pinwheel”) systems, and 119 Messier 104 (the “Sombrero”) systems, yielding the solitary exoplanet candidate detailed here.

The researchers will look through the Chandra and XMM-Newton archives for other exoplanet candidates in other galaxies. At least 20 galaxies have large Chandra datasets, including those that are significantly closer than M51, such as M31 and M33, allowing for the detection of shorter transits. Another intriguing area of inquiry is looking for X-ray transits in Milky Way X-ray sources in order to find new planets in strange surroundings.

Ryan Urquhart (Michigan State University), Roberto Soria (University of the Chinese Science Academy), Vinay Kashap (CfA), and Theron Carmichael (Michigan State University) are the other authors of this Nature Astronomy paper (CfA). The Chandra programme is overseen by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The Chandra X-ray Center of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory manages science from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.

Source- Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian

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Walmart is Testing Driverless Delivery Trucks

Walmart

Residents in Arkansas shouldn’t be alarmed if they see a Walmart truck travelling through town without a driver. It’s just that the future of truck delivery has arrived. The supply chain crisis and truck driver shortage have given huge corporations the chance to accelerate self-driving truck deliveries. Self-driving trucks aren’t a novel concept. For years, they’ve been in development or testing, but getting them off the ground has proven challenging.

TuSimple, Embark, Daimler, a Mercedes-Benz partner, and the Volvo Group are just a few of the companies vying for a piece of the rapidly expanding self-driving truck market in the United States. On highways, some companies are already autonomous, but they use a driver for safety. Self-driving software developers have found that manoeuvring massive freight trucks through congested, narrow city streets has proven to be a difficult task.

Walmart was the first retailer in the United States to use self-driving trucks. Gatik, a rapidly growing startup, is developing the technology. Gatik’s fleet of self-driving vehicles is now operating in Arkansas seven days a week, 12 hours a day. The autonomous driving technology they use is similar to that used by other self-driving vehicles such as Tesla. The system’s primary components include cameras, sensors, and AI-powered software. Gatik, on the other hand, has a few tricks up its sleeve. Medium-duty trucks are used. Not only are these trucks easier to operate than larger trucks, but they’re also big enough to fit extra technology on the roof, such as enormous cameras and sensors, that wouldn’t look nice on a Tesla.

Recruiting a team of highly skilled engineers and researchers with extensive expertise building autonomous technologies and cooperating with Fortune 500 firms in the United States and Canada was critical to Gatik’s rapid growth. The company has also thrown the traditional logistics and freight transport models into disarray. Instead of transporting goods across vast miles in giant trucks, they built up smaller B2B warehouses to reduce haul distances.

Union truckers in the United States have been hesitant to believe that self-driving cars are the future of trucking. If completely self-driving trucks are introduced across the United States, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be destroyed. Companies developing self-driving cars, on the other hand, insist that they are in the business of saving lives, citing statistics from U.S. truck accidents as evidence. Every year, more than 500,000 truck accidents occur in the United States. Every day, that’s 1,369 people. Truck accidents have climbed by 52% since 2009, and heavy trucks are involved in 74% of all fatal passenger car incidents.

Following 18 months of effective operations, Gatik and Walmart won the Arkansas State Highway Commission’s first-ever approval to remove the safety driver from Gatik’s autonomous trucks. In addition, the company’s operations in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Ontario have a perfect safety record. “This achievement is a watershed moment for the autonomous trucking sector,” Gatik’s CEO and co-founder Gautam Narang stated. Gatik, according to Narang, is here to stay and will continue to grow. “Our demonstration in Bentonville, Arkansas, is not a one-time event. These are numerous, revenue-generating daily runs that our trucks successfully complete on public roads in a variety of situations “According to the CEO.

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Russia has Fined Google 2 Million Roubles, Everything You Need to Know

Russia Fined Google

A Moscow court fined Google 2 million roubles ($28,085) on Monday for failing to delete content that Russia considers illegal, as part of a larger dispute between Moscow and the U.S. internet giant.
In Moscow’s boldest measure yet to rein in international tech corporations, Russia has threatened to pay Google a percentage of its annual Russian turnover for repeatedly failing to remove banned information from its search engine and YouTube.
Google confirmed the penalties on Monday but declined to disclose further. Last month, Google and a Russian lawmaker announced that the firm had paid earlier fines totaling more than 32 million roubles.

Telegram, a messaging app, was also fined 4 million roubles by Russia. A request for comment from Telegram was not immediately returned.

Two other administrative proceedings against Google were postponed until Nov. 29 to provide a Google official more time to review the case files, according to the court.

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Elon Musk Proposes Selling 10% of His Tesla Shares

Elon Musk Tesla Share

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has opted to sell 10% of his Tesla stock, and the Twitterati has surprisingly sided with him. Musk, unlike his peers, is very active on social media and never misses an opportunity to engage with his millions of followers. Musk is highly active on Twitter, from dazzling everyone with amazing space and science data to dispelling Twitter users’ worries. And, because of his ubiquity, nearly 3.5 million Twitter users took part in a recent poll conducted by the 50-year-old billionaire regarding his Tesla stock.

While Senate Democrats have proposed taxing billionaires’ stocks and other tradeable assets in order to help President Joe Biden’s social spending plan. “Eventually, they run out of other people’s money, and then they come for you,” Musk remarked, criticizing the move. Then came a poll, in which Musk sought to aid in choosing the fate of Tesla shares, which is valued at about $21 billion.

Needless to say, other Twitter users joined the conversation, and the poll quickly became a trending topic on the social media platform.

Earlier this month, Musk reacted to David Beasley, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, by donating $6 billion in Tesla stock on the condition that the UN choose an open-source account so that the public can monitor exactly how the money is spent.

Meanwhile, Musk has risen to the top of the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people thanks to the recent success of Tesla and SpaceX. But that’s not all: Musk also became the first person on the planet to reach the $300 billion thresholds.

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NASA Launch Spacecraft to Deflect Asteroid’s Path

Nasa

NASA will launch a mission to try a once-in-a-lifetime feat: colliding with a small asteroid and speeding up its orbit. The project, known as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), is part of NASA’s active planetary defence programme and will launch in late November. Dimorphos, a moonlet asteroid, is a non-threatening asteroid that will be impacted by the DART mission.

It tries to identify huge asteroids that could impact with Earth as part of planetary defence, assess the risk these rocks provide, and strive to avoid disaster if necessary. DART will put one technique to the test by slamming into the smaller moon of an asteroid while humans monitor the moon’s orbital period to see how much it shortens.

“If an asteroid were to strike the Earth, you’d want to use this technique many years, if not decades, ahead of time. You could simply give this asteroid a small nudge, which would result in a significant shift in its future position, and the asteroid and Earth would no longer be on a collision course “At a pre-launch news conference on Thursday, Nancy Chabot, scientist and DART coordination lead at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, said.

There are two phases to the projected planetary defence. The first step entails examining the skies for as many asteroids as possible, then closely watching them so that scientists can calculate their trajectories and compare them to Earth’s orbit far into the future. According to NASA, scientists have discovered over 27,000 near-Earth asteroids, over 10,000 of which are larger than 460 feet (140 metres) in diameter and might cause substantial regional damage.

The second phase involves attempting to deflect the asteroid’s path in order to prevent mankind from dying extinct in the same way that dinosaurs did.

A comparable astriod impact killed out most dinosaurs and other species around 66 million years ago, which planetary security experts are attempting to avoid.

The mission’s goal is to provide scientists with real-world data on how a kinetic impactor method to planetary defence might work in practise.

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The FBI has Put out a PSA about an Interesting Cryptocurrency Scam

Cryptocurrency Scam
Photo Credit: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

The FBI has released a public service announcement about an intriguing cryptocurrency scam.

The FBI is alerting Americans about a new type of bitcoin ATM scam. A con artist persuades a victim to deposit cash into a cryptocurrency ATM and send the purchased coins to the con artist via a QR code-based address (via CoinDesk). While the scam itself is very low-tech, it is an interesting example of how criminals are leveraging crypto to “improve” on traditional approaches.

According to the organization, the fraudster would contact their victim and persuade them to pay money, either with promises of love or more riches or by impersonating a legitimate entity such as a bank or utility provider. After the mark has been persuaded, the fraudster will instruct them to withdraw cash (from their investment or retirement accounts) and proceed to an ATM that sells cryptocurrency and can scan QR codes. When the victim arrives, they’ll scan a QR code supplied to them by the fraudster, which instructs the machine to send any cryptocurrency purchased to the scammer’s address. The victim loses their money in an instant, and the scammer has successfully exploited them.

If this scam sounds familiar, it’s because it’s essentially a tech-enhanced version of wire transfer fraud. Someone will persuade their victim to send them money using any methods necessary, and then have them transmit it using a way that is difficult to trace and almost impossible to undo. The system is working as intended, much like with wire transfers; being able to utilize a QR code instead of typing in a long wallet address is also useful for authorized crypto purchases. It’s just that the money is going to someone else’s pocketbook instead of yours.

Scammers benefit from the crypto ATM approach in two ways: it can be less friction than sending a wire transfer, and the fraudster ends up with cryptocurrency rather than money. You must fill out a form for wire transfers, and you may give that form to a real person (who could potentially vibe-check you). When you use an ATM, you have less time to consider the idea that you’re going to transmit money to a stranger. And, if you’re a criminal looking to get their hands on Bitcoin, you won’t have to educate your victims how to acquire coins online and move them to another wallet because they’re likely already familiar with using an ATM and scanning a QR code.

Both the FBI and the FTC have some helpful tips for avoiding scams, but the bottom line is this: if someone you don’t know asks you to send them money, don’t do it using any means, crypto or otherwise.

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Pfizer to Seek U.S. Nod for Covid Pill after Strong Results

Pfizer Covid-19 Pill
Photo Credit: https://www.axios.com/

Pfizer Inc. claimed that its Covid-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and fatalities in high-risk patients by 89 percent, a finding that could change how coronavirus sickness is handled and the pandemic’s trajectory.

The company said in a statement on Friday (November 05, 2021) that it was no longer enrolling new patients in a clinical trial of the medication “because of the overwhelming efficacy” and that it planned to submit the results to US regulatory authorities for emergency approval as soon as feasible.

As a result of the findings, two intriguing possibilities for treating Covid-19 patients early in the disease’s course have emerged. Merck & Co. and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP submitted its experimental pill to regulators last month after research showed it cut the risk of serious illness or death in patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19 by half.

Pfizer shares rose 7% in premarket trade in the United States, while Merck slid 4%.

So long as it’s widely available, a pill that can be taken at home at the first hint of symptoms is a critical weapon for taming the Covid-19 epidemic globally. According to a Pfizer representative, submissions to other regulatory authorities will follow the U.S. file.

When begun within three days or five days of symptom onset, five days of treatment with Pfizer’s medication drastically lowered the likelihood of hospitalization in a trial of 1,219 unvaccinated individuals, according to the company. Paxlovid is a medication that attaches to a protease enzyme and prevents the virus from reproducing. Some HIV medications function in a similar way.

Overall, only 0.8 percent of persons who began treatment within three days after being ill ended up in the hospital, with no one dying, but 7% of people who received a placebo during that time period were hospitalized or died. When the medicine was started within five days of the onset of symptoms, the effects were similar. According to Pfizer, the outcome, which hasn’t been published in a medical publication, was statistically significant.

Acute Deficit

Covid’s current therapy options aren’t optimal. Monoclonal antibodies from businesses like Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. minimize hospitalizations, but the infusions are difficult to make and must be given in a doctor’s office, putting further burden on healthcare systems.

Other drugs, like Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir, are used to treat people who are already in the hospital and are much sicker. Dexamethasone, a low-cost steroid that is very effective, is normally only administered to patients who are terminally ill.

Merck has already agreed to allow generic drugmakers to apply for licenses to make its medication for more than 100 low- and middle-income countries, even before it has been approved in the United States. After a quick examination, the United Kingdom’s drug regulators were the first in the world to approve Merck’s medication on Thursday.

Pfizer’s tablet, which works on a different mechanism, now appears to be much more effective in high-risk individuals. Independent observers called the experiment off early due to the magnitude of the effect.

“We are ecstatic that we were able to see such great efficacy in this study.” “It has huge ramifications for patients all throughout the world,” Annaliesa Anderson, chief scientific officer for Pfizer’s hospital’s business segment, which includes antiviral research, said.

Pfizer is also investigating the medicine in standard-risk individuals, a study that included some vaccinated persons who had breakthrough infections, in addition to the current trial in high-risk patients.

In a third major study, Pfizer is looking into whether the drug may be used as prophylactic therapy for those who live with someone who has Covid-19, which would mean taking the drug to avoid contracting the virus.

Molecule from the Past

Pfizer researchers in the United States and the United Kingdom created the pill internally. During the early pandemic shutdowns, the scientists agreed to return to their labs in an effort to manufacture anti-Covid tablets as quickly as possible, according to Anderson. She claimed that company researchers “worked around the clock to design this chemical” in a short amount of time.

They dug up an old experimental antiviral medicine developed by Pfizer during the original SARS outbreak, which was caused by a coronavirus relative to Covid-19 and killed over 800 individuals starting in late 2002. The old medication had to be given intravenously. However, by July of last year, Pfizer researchers had altered the original molecule and created a new chemical that was highly effective in the test tube against Covid-19 and other coronaviruses — and could be taken as a pill.

The Pfizer medicine works by inhibiting a key enzyme required for the Covid-19 virus to proliferate. It’s given twice a day for five days and combined with ritonavir, a second drug that helps the Pfizer chemical stay in the bloodstream longer.

During the pandemic, Pfizer announced it planned to provide the antiviral medication at a tiered price. According to the report, higher- and upper-middle-income countries will pay more than lower-income countries. The pharmaceutical company did not specify how much it would charge.

Pfizer intends to generate more than 180,000 packets of the medicine by the end of this year, and at least 50 million packs by the end of 2022, with 21 million produced in the first half of the year, according to a company representative.

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