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SingPass Mobile unavailable, restoration in progress: GovTech

The SingPass Mobile app which was just launched in October has suffered yet another setback.

[SINGAPORE] The SingPass Mobile app which was just launched in October has suffered yet another setback.

At 8.35pm on Thursday (Nov 29), its developer GovTech posted on its Facebook page: "Some users are experiencing difficulties when logging in via the SingPass Mobile app. The team is working to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, you can continue to log in using your SMS 2FA or OneKey token. Thank you for your understanding."

This means SingPass users could still log in to e-government services using their OneKey hardware token to generate a one-time password (OTP), or by entering the OTP received via SMS.

Earlier in the evening, GovTech alerted users to a problem with national authentication systems SingPass and CorpPass, which secure access to hundreds of e-government services.

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At 7.50pm, GovTech posted on its Facebook page: "#SingPass and #CorpPass are temporarily unavailable.The team is working to restore the services. We will be posting updates here. Thank you for your patience."

While it is not clear what caused the outage this time, a software error that was not picked up during SingPass Mobile's testing marred its launch in October.

On its launch day, many eager users could not register for SingPass Mobile, which allows people to scan their fingerprints or faces to access their Central Provident Fund accounts, filing tax returns or paying parking fines.

The app's inherent biometric features were meant to solve the problem of users creating easy-to-guess passwords and compromising their security, or others sharing passwords freely with friends or, worse still, with scammers.

In February this year, a system software bug led to SingPass and CorpPass suffering intermittent outages that lasted 10 hours over two days. It was the longest breakdown since SingPass was set up in 2003.

Some Malaysian workers had to return home as their work permit could not be processed. Companies risked fines because they could not file their employees' Central Provident Fund contributions on time.