Cyberattack on Singapore health database steals details of 1.5 million, including PM

Hackers Grab 1.5 Million Patients' Details in Singapore

Cyberattack on Singapore health database steals details of 1.5 million, including PM

The "deliberate, targeted and well-planned", attack aimed at patients who visited clinics between May 2015 and 4 July this year, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

He stressed that the security and confidentiality of patient information is a top priority, and said he has ordered the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group to work with the Ministry of Health to tighten cyber defences and processes across the board.

In Singapore as a result of cyber attacks, personal data stolen half a million people, including the Prime Minister, reports Reuters. The hacker had been targeting the data pertaining to his health and the medicines he consumed over the past few months, the health ministry claimed.

While the country was "relatively unscathed" by last year's major ransomware campaigns, CSA observed around 750 unique C&C servers in Singapore, and a daily average of about 2,700 botnet drones with Singapore IP addresses.

In an announcement on Facebook, PM Lee suggested that whatever the hackers' goals were, they could be looking for "some dark state secret, or at least something to embarrass [him]".

"We apologise unreservedly to patients for the anxiety caused and will continue to do all that we can to reach out to them", SingHealth said in its update.

Authorities also refused to comment on the identity of the hackers, citing "operational security".

The first sign of unusual activities was detected on July 4, 2018, by the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), which is the public healthcare sector's technology agency and responsible for running local public healthcare institutions' IT systems.

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Data such as diagnosis details, test results, or doctors' notes, were not stolen.

Meanwhile, the SingHealth have made a decision to contact the affected patients to inform them about their stolen data.

The hackers posted an image of a Guy Fawkes mask - the symbol of the Anonymous group - on the prime minister's site with the words: "It's great to be Singaporean today". The statement released by the Ministry of Health mentions that the other medical records of the affected people are safe and that none of the record information had been compromised.

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.

Meanwhile, the Minister-in-charge of Cybersecurity, S Iswaran, on Friday, 20 July, convened a Committee of Inquiry (CoI) into the incident.

Channel NewsAsia reported that investigators had already determined who was behind the attack.

He noted that government systems come under attack thousands of times a day, and the goal must be to prevent every attack from succeeding.

Singapore primarily boasts its stability and security, but the latest hack is an example that even the best systems can fall prey to cyber-attacks.

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