Earlier this month, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) suffered a breach in its I-net system. This resulted in personal data (NRIC numbers, telephone numbers and dates of birth) of 850 servicemen and employees, being stolen. Thankfully, no classified military information was stored on it.
I-net provides Internet access to members of military personnel and employees for personal communications or Internet surfing using dedicated I-net computer terminals in MINDEF and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) camps and premises.
According to a Facebook post by Cyberpioneer, Deputy Secretary (Technology) David Koh said that “the attack was targeted and well-planned”. Based on the investigations, MINDEF has concluded that it is not the work of casual hackers. MINDEF reports that the attacks may have been instigated to gather intelligence on official secrets. However, “MINDEF’s multi-layered approach to cyber defence prevented the attackers from being able to penetrate deeper into our systems”.
MINDEF assures the public that all personnel who have been affected will be contacted within the week. They will be informed to change their passwords across other systems in case the stolen information is used against them. MINDEF also advises personnel to report unusual activity related to their personal information. Those with further queries can contact MINDEF/SAF at 1800-367-6767 or IT_Helpdesk@defence.gov.sg.
Reports by MINDEF have shown that they have also informed the Cyber Security Agency and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore to investigate other Government systems. No breaches have been detected so far.
MINDEF has apologised for the breach and any inconvenience or harm caused to the affected servicemen.