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MAS reminds of vigilance against cyber threats taking advantage of coronavirus situation

MAS reminds of vigilance against cyber threats taking advantage of coronavirus situation

A man is seen wearing a protective face mask and gloves at Orchard Road, Singapore on Jan 28. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reminded financial institutions to remain vigilant on the cybersecurity front amid cases of "cyber threat actors" taking advantage of the coronavirus situation to conduct email scams, phishing and ransomware attacks. 

In a media release on Sunday (Feb 9), MAS said it issued the advisory - its third since January -to financial institutions on Friday, after Singapore raised its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) alert level to Orange

The authority also advised financial institutions to adopt the additional measures recommended by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Manpower.

The measures include cancelling non-essential large-scale events and allowing telecommuting or dividing the workplace into segregated teams. 

READ: Coronavirus outbreak - Singapore raises DORSCON alert level to Orange

READ: 7 new coronavirus cases in Singapore including taxi and private-hire drivers

MAS said financial institutions should ensure the following while carrying out such business continuity plans: 

  • Continue to maintain effective internal controls across their operations should split team arrangements be implemented
  • Anticipate and be prepared to manage any increase in demand for certain financial services, such as cash withdrawal or online financial services
  • Inform customers promptly of the availability of services and operating hours
  • Monitor and support staff morale

READ: PM Lee urges Singapore to take courage amid coronavirus outbreak, see through stressful time together

The authority also said it has been informed of scammers impersonating MOH contact tracing officials and requesting financial information from individuals. 

"MOH does not ask for financial information during contact tracing calls," said MAS. 

Members of the public are advised to verify the authenticity of the phone calls with the MOH hotline (6325 9220) if they have doubts about the caller's identity, said MAS. 

The authority said it is "closely monitoring" the coronavirus situation and "remains engaged with financial institutions to ensure that appropriate business continuity plans are in place". 

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Source: CNA/hs(mn)


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