SingHealth cyberattack: SMS notifications sent to 1.8 million patients

SingHealth cyberattack: SMS notifications sent to 1.8 million patients

Geylang Polyclinic
Patients at a polyclinic in Singapore. (File photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: SingHealth has sent SMS notifications to more than 1.8 million patients to notify them if their data were stolen in the cyberattack.

These individuals were patients at SingHealth's specialist outpatient clinics and polyclinics between May 1, 2015 and Jul 4 this year, during which 1.5 million of them - including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong - had their personal data accessed and copied by hackers.

In an update on patient engagement on Monday (Jul 23), SingHealth said that it is progressively contacting about 2 million patients who had visited its clinics during the affected period.

This is the second update SingHealth has made on patient engagement, since news of the cyberattack was announced on Jul 20. The first update was on Saturday - a day after the cyberattack announcement - in which it said that SMS notifications had been sent to more than 700,00 patients.

The remaining patients who did not register their mobile numbers with SingHealth will receive letters this week informing them of the status of their data, the healthcare operator said on Monday.

READ: SingHealth cyberattack: Did authorities respond fast enough to Singapore's worst personal data breach?

READ: SingHealth warns of fake SMS claiming access to phone numbers, financial details

In its update on Monday, SingHealth also said that more than 231,000 patients have accessed the Health Buddy mobile app and SingHealth website to check if they were affected by the cyberattack.

“We would like to assure patients that no phone numbers, financial information or other patient medical records were illegally accessed. The care that we provide to patients has not been affected, and all clinic and hospital operations continue as normal,” it said.

SingHealth added that patients who visited SingHealth specialist outpatient clinics and polyclinics during the affected timeframe should call its hotline for assistance should they be unable to perform a data check via the Health Buddy mobile app or SingHealth website.

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Source: CNA/zl(aj)