World News

Singapore succumbs to massive data breach in 'state-sponsored' attack

Singapore succumbs to massive data breach in 'state-sponsored' attack

"It was not the work of casual hackers or criminal gangs", the ministry said, adding that the attackers targeted details about Lee and the medicines he received.

"The attackers specifically and repeatedly targeted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's personal particulars and information on his outpatient dispensed medicines", the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Ministry of Health said in a joint statement.

IHiS, with CSA's support, has implemented further measures to tighten the security of SingHealth's IT systems.

Who was behind the attack?

"If so, they would have been disappointed".

Russian Federation - which is accused of meddling in the USA presidential election - China, Iran and North Korea are believed to have the capability to carry out such attacks.

Mr Gan said that the hackers probably wanted to stay hidden in the network for months, if not years - the kind of timeframe that would require resources and organisation typically unavailable to smaller players. "My medication data is not something I would ordinarily tell people about, but there is nothing alarming in it", PM Lee wrote.

"Any non-public health information could be used for extortion. Russian spy services have a long history of doing this", he added.

Cyber attacks on healthcare systems have surged in recent years around the globe because medical records can provide information valuable both to government spy agencies and criminal hackers looking to profit from identity theft.

Today, cybercriminals are targeting more than just individuals or banks, said Shahnawaz Backer, regional security specialist at F5 Networks.

More news: Donald Trump Accuses China, EU Of Currency Manipulation

Singapore has been an active target of cyber attacks and the government recognizes the threat and has warned citizens about these attacks in the past as well.

"As Singapore embraces the digital revolution, security breaches are bound to happen".

Wealthy Singapore is hyper-connected and on a drive to digitize government records and essential services, including medical records which public hospitals and clinics can share via a centralized database.

"This was a deliberate, targeted and well-planned cyberattack".

"We are convening a Committee of Inquiry to look thoroughly into this incident". Indeed, Singapore officials have already suggested that certain IT-related projects that had been introduced may have to be paused pending the introduction of additional safeguards.

If this SingHealth hack was indeed targeted at Prime Minister Lee for political purposes, it's only a matter of time before the attackers try again.

Authorities first noticed unusual activity in one of SingHealth's IT databases on July 4, according to the Health Ministry's news release.

The government hasn't revealed any details about the people or groups who may be behind this cyberattack on the digitalized state.

Earlier this month, USA intelligence chief Dan Coats described Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as the "worst offenders" when it came to attacks on American "digital infrastructure".


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