As I have noted before in these pages, Singapore has always been paying keen attention to the cyber domain, as a developed, highly networked country that relies on its reputation for security and stability to serve as a hub for businesses and talent.
How vulnerable is Singapore to hacking?
Linda Martin, director and general manager of RSA Conferences (a series of cybersecurity conferences), added: "The scenario is worrying for industries that rely heavily on public confidence". Their data was copied, but officials say nothing was altered. "We have not found evidence of a similar breach in the other public healthcare IT systems", said the statement.
Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault, said the breach drives home the importance for all companies across all verticals, particularly those which deal with personal data of any kind, to have effective threat detection and incident response controls in place so any such breaches can be detected quickly and stopped from turning into a large incident.
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. Security measures, including the blocking of dubious connections and changing of passwords, were taken to thwart the hackers.
The cyber security Agency of Singapore said that the hackers ' actions were purposeful and well planned. A police report was made on July 12.
Paul Ducklin, Sophos" senior technologist, said: "The data stolen in this breach is an identity thief's goldmine. These measures include temporarily imposing internet surfing separation, adding additional controls on servers, resetting user and system accounts, and installing more system monitoring.
On the Dark Web, such data can fetch a high price. According to the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study by Ponemon Institute, a lost/stolen healthcare record fetches US$408.
"We must learn from this and emerge stronger and more resilient from this incident".
"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. "As these previously-silo-ed data get integrated so governments can provide better and more integrate services (e.g. a one-stop shop for setting up a business), more and more individuals' digital twins will be created". "Disclosure enables other organizations to take steps to improve their defenses against similar attacks".
A major cyberattack on Singapore health clinics resulted in 1.5 million patients' data being stolen, along with the Prime Minister's.
A Health Ministry official, who asked not to be named, said there may be "some inconvenience" as a result of the hack but the full extent of the impact was not immediately clear.
"Patients can also access the Health Buddy mobile app or SingHealth website to check if they are affected by this incident", the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a joint statement on Friday (Jul 20).
Wong Onn Chee, chief technology officer of security firm Resolvo, stressed that when it comes to cybersecurity, it is "not a matter of if, but when".
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