Singapore says hackers stole 1.5M health records in record cyberattack

Published July 20, 2018, 6:55 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Agence France-Presse

Hackers have stolen health records belonging to 1.5 million Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who was specifically targeted in the city state’s biggest ever data breach, authorities said Friday.

Singaporean authorities say the theft is the city state's biggest data breach to date (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Singaporean authorities say the theft is the city state’s biggest data breach to date (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

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 media conference.

Officials declined to elaborate on the identity of the hackers citing “operational security”.

Wealthy Singapore is hyper connected and on a drive to digitize government databases and essential services.

While the city-state has some of the most advanced military weaponry in the region, authorities have long warned of cyber breaches, with attackers ranging from high-school students in their basements to criminals and state-actors.

In 2017, hackers broke into a defense ministry database, stealing the information of some 850 army conscripts and ministry staff.