Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday in a facebook post that SingHealth, the city-state's largest group of healthcare institutions, had experienced a major cyber-attack, in which 1.5 million patients had their personal particulars stolen.
Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed today that a hacker had breached its IT systems and stolen personal and health-related data on roughly 1.5 million citizens.
SingHealth said it would be contacting all patients who visited its specialist outpatient clinics during the period of compromise to notify them if their data had been illegally exfiltrated. Additionally, details on the outpatient dispensed medicines of approximately 160,000 of the patients was also taken, said the release. Singapore has assured everyone that no data was tampered with, amended or deleted.
Fraser Kyne, European chief technology officer at Bromium, said the breach is "very serious" given the sensitivity of the data accessed and the sheer volume of records involved.
Hoh said that it is important that business and governments work together to improve the collective security so that when breaches do occur, consequences can be minimised.
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Tan Shong Ye, a partner at PwC, noted that the Singapore government "responded swiftly" to the incident, including convening a Committee of Inquiry (COI) to look into the cyberattack and find ways to better secure public sector IT systems.
In 2017, hackers broke into a defence ministry database, stealing the information of some 850 army conscripts and ministry staff.
Forensic investigations conducted by the authorities indicated that this was a "deliberate, targeted and well-planned cyberattack". "The care that we provide to patients has not been affected, and all clinic and hospital operations continue as normal", it said. I asked to be included.
After that first incident, again on July 4, Integrated Health Information Systems (IHIS) detected suspicious activity on one of SingHealth's IT databases. "Unfortunately that has now happened". These measures include temporarily imposing internet surfing separation, adding additional controls on servers, resetting user and system accounts, and installing more system monitoring.
It added that members of the public can check if they have been affected by visiting the SingHealth website or using the Health Buddy mobile app with their SingPass login. They only need to succeed once to gain a foothold, and when they can't be detected and stopped before they complete their mission, we need to go back and assess how they succeeded and evaluate the security strategy.