Singapore hit by ‘most serious’ cyberattack, resulting in theft of health data of 1.5 million people

Updated: Oct 26, 2018

While the city state has some of the most advanced military weaponry in the region, the government says it fends off thousands of cyberattacks every day


Hackers have stolen the health records of 1.5 million Singaporeans including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, authorities said on Friday, with the leader specifically targeted in the city state’s biggest ever data breach.

Singapore’s health and information ministries said a government database was broken into in a “deliberate, targeted and well-planned” strike, describing the attack as “unprecedented”.

“Attackers specifically and repeatedly targeted the personal particulars and outpatient information of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,” health minister Gan Kim Yong told a press conference.


Forensic analysis by Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency “indicates this is a deliberate, targeted, and well-planned cyberattack and not the work of casual hackers or criminal gangs,” he added.


Officials declined to comment on the identity of the hackers, citing “operational security”, but said the prime minister’s data has not shown up anywhere on the internet.


“I don’t know what the attackers were hoping to find. Perhaps they were hunting for some dark state secret, or at least something to embarrass me,” Lee wrote on Facebook. “My medication data is not something I would ordinarily tell people about, but there is nothing alarming in it.”


Hackers used a computer infected with malware to gain access to the database between June 27 and July 4 before administrators spotted “unusual activity”, authorities said.


SCMP

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 July, 2018, 7:26pm

UPDATED : Friday, 20 July, 2018, 10:45pm

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