Wednesday, 17 October, 2018


Singapore personal data hack hits 1.5m, including PM Lee

Singapore witnesses its Singapore personal data hack hits 1.5m, including PM Lee
Patty Aguilar | 25 July, 2018, 14:52

The records of the medicines given to 160,000 people - the Prime Minister among them - who had received outpatient treatment at SingHealth's outlets were also stolen.

In the biggest data breach in the city-state's history, a government database was broken into in a "deliberate, targeted and well-planned" strike, the health and information ministries said in a joint statement.

SingHealth is Singapore's largest group of healthcare institutions.

(From left) Cyber Security Agency CEO David Koh, MCI Permanent Secretary Gabriel Lim, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Chan Heng Kee and SingHealth CEO Ivy Ng attend a press conference regarding the SingHealth cyber attack in Singapore.

Singaporean healthcare giant (HCO) SingHealth is warning patients not to fall for follow-on vishing and smishing attempts after the country suffered its most serious breach to date last week.

Commenting on the measures that government has taken so far, Ryan Lim, founder of QED Consulting said that this will not have a major effect on the overall SmartNation agenda on the strategic level.

From what Channel Asia understands, the discovery of the attack occurred on 4 July when IHiS' database administrators detected unusual activity on one of SingHealth's IT databases; immediately halting the activity upon discovery. The dataset covers the period from 1 may 2015 to 4 July 2018.

However, authorities have put the brakes on these plans while they investigate the cyberattack.

Among the actions taken by SingHealth was its imposition of a temporary Internet surfing separation on all of its 28,000 staff's work computers.

Singapore has been an active target of cyber attacks and the government recognizes the threat and has warned citizens about these attacks in the past as well.

"Singapore ranks among the leaders in cyber security, and we would like to see more governments follow their lead in disclosing breaches".

The incident also highlights the fact that networks and endpoints can no longer be trusted, said Kyne, because attackers will inevitably find a way in.

Six days later, on July 10, the investigators confirmed that SingHealth's systems had come under a cyberattack, and informed the relevant parties.

SingHealth said no phone numbers, financial information or other patient medical records were illegally accessed.

BBC pointed to a 2015 study that suggested around 29 million digital health records were exposed in one way or another between 2010 and 2013 in the US.

Patients affected in the latest breach will be contacted by the government informing them about the attack starting Friday. "We have to go forward, to build a secure and smart nation", he wrote and ended it with his initials, LHL.

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