14.05.2021

In Singapore, stolen personal data of every fourth resident

In Singapore, as a result of an unprecedented cyber attack, the identity of one and a half million people, including the Prime Minister, was stolen, government sources said Friday.

Authorities called the incident the most serious hacking of personal data bases. Singapore, with a population of about 6 million, is known for its high level of development of computer technology, and cybersecurity is one of the main priorities of the authorities.

According to the Singapore government, as a result of a large-scale cyber attack on the country’s health system database, the personal data of 1.5 million citizens, including Prime Minister Li Hsien Luna, were stolen.

The target of the attack was the computers of SingHealth – the largest group of healthcare institutes in Singapore, which includes four hospitals, five national specialized centers, and eight clinics. Information obtained by hackers includes information on prescription drugs.

“An investigation by the Singapore Cybersecurity Authority (CSA) and the Integrated Health Information System (IHiS) confirmed that it was a deliberate, targeted, and well-planned cyber attack,” the government said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

Among the stolen materials are the names and addresses of patients who visited the clinic from May 1, 2015 to July 4 of this year.

In addition, hackers took possession of information about which medicines were prescribed to approximately 160 thousand people. However, no medical records about the state of health, diagnostic results and diagnoses were stolen.

The BBC notes that, apparently, the hackers were mainly focused on medical information about Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Lun. The Singapore government has repeatedly warned of the increased risk of cyber attacks, including from foreign hackers.

In recent years, cybersecurity measures have been raised in the country, which helped prevent a number of attacks. In particular, the computers of key ministries were disconnected from the Internet and operate solely on the basis of an internal intranet.

Last year, an attempt was made to break into the system of the Ministry of Defense of Singapore, but hackers managed to gain access to only a small part of the information about draftees.

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