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Mindef's Internet system breached, data of 850 servicemen and employees stolen

A cyber attack on the Internet system of Singapore's Defence Ministry (Mindef) in early February resulted in the personal information of about 850 servicemen and employees being stolen.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Mindef said that no classified military information is stored on its I-net system.

I-net provides Internet access for personal communications or Web-surfing using dedicated computer terminals in Mindef and Singapore Armed Forces camps and premises.

Classified materials use a different computer system with more stringent security features and are not connected to the Internet.

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"The attack on I-net appeared to be targeted and carefully planned. The real purpose may have been to gain access to official secrets, but this was prevented by the physical separation of I-net from our internal systems," the ministry said.

Mindef said that it did not believe that the attack was carried out by casual hackers or criminal gangs. Investigations are still ongoing, and all those affected by the breach will be contacted within this week. The stolen data comprised NRIC numbers, mobile numbers and dates of birth.

Mindef added that it informed the Cyber Security Agency and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore to investigate other government systems, and confirmed that no breaches have been detected so far.

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