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

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Singapore has been hit by a major cyber attack that saw a database containing the personal information of about 1.5 million people, more than a quarter of the population, stolen.

The attack was first detected on July 4th and came weeks after SingHealth, the entity managing the state's health service, declared that it was going to cut off staff access to cloud storage (such as Dropbox, and OneDrive) on July 1st.

It is unknown whether the two are related but the reason given back in May 2018 was that these platforms were increasingly being used by cyber criminals to store malware.

Who was behind the attack?

The systematic siphoning of the SingHealth database went undetected for nearly three years and Singapore's government has confirmed that the records haven't been tampered with but only copied.

The attackers, an official press release highlights, "specifically and repeatedly targeted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s personal particulars and information on his outpatient dispensed medicines" adding, "It was not the work of casual hackers or criminal gangs".

While a VPN service wouldn't have stopped such an attack, it will provide with an additional layer of anonymity to those who use it, preventing hackers from mass collecting more data to build a better persona of their victims and ExpressVPN is our recommended VPN.

Via Singapore Ministry of Health

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.