Singapore health database breached, data of 1.5m stolen

Singapore health database breached, data of 1.5m stolen”

In an unprecedented cyber attack, Singapore said hackers stole the personal details records of more than 1.5 million patients, including those of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, from SingHealth.

A cyberattack on Singapore's public health system breached the records of 1.5 million people and targeted the prime minister, a two-time cancer survivor, officials said Friday.

The Ministry of Health of Singapore was targeted by a group of hackers specifically and repeatedly by what is assumed to be a state-sponsored attack. This information is typical personal identifiable information (PII) such as names, date of birth, gender, addresses, and race. "Perhaps they were hunting for some dark state secret, or at least something to embarrass me", Lee wrote on Facebook.

A new Cybersecurity Act passed earlier this year requires those providing essential services - including government, healthcare and security - to secure their web infrastructure and report any major incidents.

"Only when we admit that we cannot detect and stop threats, and instead start focusing on minimising harm, can we ever hope to disrupt hackers", he said.

The Prime Minister said the security and confidentiality of patient information is a top priority.

Unusual activity was first detected on one of SingHealth's IT databases on 4 July.

The SingHealth Patients' medical records, including past diagnosis, doctors' notes and health scans, were not affected, the release added.

"Health records contain information that is valuable to governments and they are often targeted by nation-state threat actors", Eric Hoh, President of Asia Pacific at FireEye, told Bleeping Computer via email today. "Anyone affected in this breach has no choice but to assume that their personal information will end up for sale in the cyber underground, ready for active abuse by cybercrooks".

The fake SMS also claimed that medical records were accessed, which SingHealth denies.

Data exfiltration was said to have been taking place from 27 June to 4 July. Information on the health status of patients in the hands of hackers were not included.

It added that an inquiry would be conducted to find out the full details of the incident.

Wang cautioned that this attack should not hinder the Singapore government's quest to invest in innovation for better productivity through technology-enabled pursuits.

"Government systems come under attack thousands of times a day".

In the statement, CSA and IHiS described the attack as "deliberate, targeted, and well-planned".

After the investigation by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), officials confirmed that the cyber-attack was conducted deliberately and was planned perfectly by an anonymous professional hacking group or criminal gangs. Our goal has to be to prevent every single one of these attacks from succeeding.

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