Attackers were able to infiltrate SingHealth's system, and illegally access and copy what the company called the "non-medical personal particulars" of people who visited the clinics from May 2015 until July 4 this year.
Hackers have infiltrated Singapore's government health database in the country's worst breach of personal data, stealing records on 1.5 million patients including the prime minister's own personal drug prescriptions, the government said on Friday. They also said that during the hack the criminal group also cleaned every fingerprint to hide the cyber violation. Data obtained in the breach includes names, addresses, gender, race, date of birth and patients' national identification numbers.
CYBERSECURITY experts praised the government's swift response to the cyberattack on SingHealth, but noted that it is "worrying" for Singapore's Smart Nation drive and industries that rely heavily on public confidence. "It will doubtless have valuable conclusions and recommendations, which will help us do better", he said.
The problem was detected when unusual activity was detected on one of SingHealth's IT databases on July 4.
The federal government is automatically assigning each Australian a digital health record unless they opt-out.
SingHealth also said that about 139,000 patients have accessed the Health Buddy mobile app and its website to check if they are affected. "They have huge resources, and never give up trying", he added.
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What is important, he said, is the country's cyber defences and the way it responds to cyber incidents and recovers from them.
The government believes that the cyber attack was well planned by professionals and it is likely that the motive was to find state secrets.
The authorities assured that diagnoses, lab results and medical reports to kidnap or change failed.
"The Minister-in-Charge of Cyber Security will establish a Committee of Inquiry to conduct an independent external review of this incident", the statement concluded.
The Singapore prime minister detailed the attack via a Facebook post reassuring citizens that records have not been tampered with.
As part of government moves to tighten the security of SingHealth's IT systems, no computers used for health IT system are being allowed to access the internet, additional controls have been placed on workstations and servers, user and systems accounts have been reset, and additional system monitoring controls have been installed.
Forensic investigations conducted by the authorities indicated that this was a "deliberate, targeted and well-planned cyberattack".