Singapore’s MINDEF detects breach in I-net System

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Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) disclosed that it has detected a breach in its I-net system (I-net) earlier this month, compromising basic personal data of around 850 servicemen and employees.

The I-net provides Internet access to national servicemen and employees for their personal communications or Internet surfing using dedicated I-net computer terminals in MINDEF and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) camps and premises. 

NRIC numbers, telephone numbers, and dates of birth are required for I-net account management and these are stored on I-net. The agency clarified that no classified military information is stored on I-net. 

“Classified matters in MINDEF/SAF use a different computer system with more stringent security features and are not connected to the Internet,” the official statement published on its website stated.

Investigations are still ongoing but MINDEF said the attack on the 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,” MINDEF explained.

No other breaches in other government websites have been detected so far, but the incident has already been reported to the Cyber Security Agency and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore.  

As Internet access is needed by national servicemen and employees while they are in camp, MINDEF/SAF said it will continue to provide access to our servicemen despite this incident. 

“We will continually strengthen our cyber defenses as the level of targeted attacks is expected to continue and rise,” the statement said, adding that all affected personnel will be contacted within the week and will be informed of the incident.