It was reported on Friday (20 Jul) that cyber hackers have broken into the computer systems of SingHealth and stolen the personal particulars of 1.5 million patients. The stolen data included confidential records of patients’ name, IC number, address, gender, race and date of birth.

Of these, 160,000 people, including PM Lee Hsien Loong and a few ministers, had their outpatient prescriptions stolen as well. SingHealth is the government entity in-charge of 4 hospitals, 5 national specialty centres and 8 polyclinics here in Singapore.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong apologised, “We are deeply sorry this has happened.”

The cyber attack appeared to be “deliberate, targeted and well-planned”. Initial investigations showed that one SingHealth front-end workstation was infected with malware through which the hackers gained access to the data base.

SingHealth said it will be contacting the affected patients to notify them about the incident.

MOH said it has directed a thorough review of the public healthcare system to improve cyber security, and all public and private healthcare institutions have been advised to take cyber-security precautions.

Mr Iswaran, who is also Minister-in-Charge of Cyber Security, added that “we must get to the bottom of this breach”.

CSA Chief says no worry

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), David Koh, essentially told the media that there is nothing to worry about. He said the stolen information are “basic demographic data”.

“We are watching to see if anything appears on the Internet both in the open and in some of the less well-known websites,” he added, noting that this has occasionally happened in past data breaches.

“But considering the type of data that’s been exfiltrated (i.e, unauthorized transfer of data), it is – from our professional experience – unlikely that these will appear, because there is no strong commercial value to these types of data.”

In other words, he is telling the 1.5 million patients not to worry about the theft of their personal data, which includes their name, IC number, address, gender, race and date of birth.

CNA reported that the authorities know who was behind the attack. It reported, “There are only a few countries in the world who have shown this level of sophistication when it comes to cyber attacks.”

When pressed further, the CSA Chief apologised and replied, “We are not able to reveal more because of operational security reasons.”

UOB says easy to commit fraud with stolen sensitive information

However, on UOB website, it quoted a study by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) indicating that cyber attacks related to ID theft are on the rise.

“It is also alarming to note the rising trend of ID theft by people known to the victims,” UOB said.

Essentially, “ID theft” is a form of fraud in which someone assumes another person’s identity by pretending to be that person. It is usually done by cyber thieves to obtain financial gain, UOB said.

In the information sensitivity table provided by UOB below, it noted that criminals just need “low sensitivity information and 1-2 medium/high sensitivity information” to commit financial fraud:

UOB recommended, “The simple act of safeguarding your sensitive information could go a long way in protecting yourself against ID theft.”

So, going by UOB’s information sensitivity table, it appears that the cyber hackers of the SingHealth systems now possessed even information considered to be of “high sensitivity” by banks like IC numbers, thanks to the security loopholes in SingHealth.

And yet, Singapore’s cyber security chief David Koh said “there is no strong commercial value to these types of data”.

Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like


邻国马来西亚在今年2月才刚经历希盟政府倒台,时隔7个月后,公正党主席安华突然在今午(23日)单方面宣布,本身已掌握三分二国会议席优势,现任国盟首相慕尤丁政府倒台。 他自称不是五至六位多数议员的微弱优势,而是已获得稳固的多数国会议员的支持。 马国有222国席,要掌握马国简单多数议席,需要得到112议员支持。三分二则是148席。 安华原本昨日(22日)应前往觐见国家元首,惟国家元首因病在国家心脏中心接受治疗而搁置,他表示在昨晚已致电祝福元首早日康复。 他宣称,所获得支持大多来自马来和穆斯林国会议员,他将在近期觐见国家元首,宣布进一步详情。 他强调,新政权是在多数马来人、土著和各族公平的代表下,属于能代表全民的政府。除了捍卫各族权益,也会继续捍卫马国宪法原则、承认伊斯兰地位、马来统治者主权、巩固马来语作为国语和土著权益等。 据了解,马国现任首相慕尤丁,仍会在下午下午2时30分透过电视台发表特别演说。

Press release on the police questioning of Film Maker, Lynn Lee

The Online Citizen has removed this press release at the request of…

Lets strive towards a First World Parliament: WP

Press release by the Workers’ Party. The Workers’ Party would like to…

大巴窑中民众俱乐部外举笑脸卡片 警要求范国瀚协助调查

两个月前,社运份子范国瀚在大巴窑中民众俱乐部(Toa Payoh Central CC)前,展示一张画着笑脸的卡片。 昨日(20日),范国瀚在脸书分享,接到警方来函,要求他在周日下午2时,到东陵警署协助调查。 警方也告知他,上述举动涉嫌违反公共秩序法令。不过范国瀚表示,当时只是在现场举卡片拍照后就马上离开。 当时范国瀚是为了声援两名年轻人,他们倡议环保议题,其中一名青年同样在大巴窑中民众俱乐部和邻里警局前,举起写着“新加坡值得比原油更好的”(SG IS BETTER THAN OIL)的卡片,并把照片上载到社交媒体。 不过警方较后表示,青年在进行上述活动时,未申请准证。…