Lifting of pause on ICT systems seems too soon to be safe

Two key figures in the SingHealth Cyber-attack. Ms Ivy Ng, CEO of SingHealth and Mr David Koh, Head of Cyber Security Agency.

According to reports, the pause on new information and communications technology (ICT) systems that had been put in place following  the SingHealth hacking has been lifted. While the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) has stated that it has completed its review of cyber security policies and confirmed that additional measures for critical government systems to detect threats would be put in place, is this too much too soon?

The cyber attack happened barely 2 weeks ago and affected 1.5 million people including the Prime Minister of Singapore. With this in mind, are we really ready to pause the pause? Can the cyber security policies really be reviewed comprehensively in just a fortnight? Given Singapore’s penchant for deadlines and efficiency, I hope this isn’t a case of being fast for the sake of being fast at the expense of thoroughness.

The ministerial statements in relation to this massive cyber security breach have not even been heard by Parliament and yet, the pause on ICT is already lifted. Are we jumping the gun?

I note that a committee of inquiry (COI) has been put together to investigate the causes and effects of the SingHealth hack. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the COI to be concluded before any pauses are lifted? Lifting the pause now gives the impression that the COI is merely a formality and “for show” only.

At the very least, shouldn’t the decision to lift the pause be debated in Parliament?

This hack is not a run of the mill incident. It is suspected to be state sanctioned and affected 1.5 million people including our Prime Minister. It is no small matter! Why then are decisions being made without Parliament being consulted beforehand? Is the government placing arbitrary efficiency over due care? Is the government being dismissive? Does this not send the message to the affected 1,5 million that the breach of their data is not even worth a discussion in Parliament?

Perhaps the government is so used to making decisions without consulting Parliament made up of elected representatives, it does not appear to realise that this incident is on a scale so massive that it has affected almost one third of our population – definitely warranting collective decision as opposed to individual agencies calling the shots. The sheer numbers of people affected makes this a national issue. There needs to be accountability and consensus.

This top down approach does not work – no, not for this.

 

by Ghui

 

 

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11 Responses to “Lifting of pause on ICT systems seems too soon to be safe”

  • opposition dude:

    PAP likes showing us all how good they are so just wait for the next major incident to happen. It won’t be long trust me.

    When you have had major MRT disruptions for years on end followed by floods and failed AGO audits you know nothing is beyond the ever incomplacent PAP.

    There is no such thing as all government systems not having internet access. The various government websites are all prime targets for hackers. Who knows, the same group of state sponsored hackers may well attempt to penetrate PAP’s way too lousy internet systems again.

    And this time, they might even uncover the cost of building BTOs, Temashit’s remuneration packages and just how much we have got in our reserves!

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  • parleement is such a shame:

    Why then are decisions being made< without Parliament being consulted beforehand?

    WHY parleement was not consulted?

    Well,

    SGP parleement is a joke. all manner of rules bound on the outside. all manner of nepotism cronyism on the inside. made worse by a whip.

    is this why parleement was not consulted?

    actually, NOT.

    it is because clown and S$m gang said, what’s the point since what we decide is what parleement agrees. THIS, is why parleement was not consulted.

    truly a WTF parleement. such a shame. 1st world going to 3rd, 4th akan datang. all in a short 15 years.

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  • William C:

    State sponsor? Saudi expelled Canada ambassador and told to leave within 24 hours.

    Why dare not to mention? We are always very kapo to speak on global matters – condeming terrorist attack, join UN to fight terrorist, tell China to abide to the court ruling for South China Sea. Come to own threat we keep quiet?

    Without more disclosure, I somehow got a feeling this whole matter is fabricated to create fear again. The hacking may not have happened.

    Who wins?

    Fear is created. Giving the impression that without PAP being the government we will collapse.

    Fees paid to COI members? I am told there is. This is total defence. Each member being called up to sit in the COI must consider him or her privilege to serve the nation. Did some MP said serving NS is a privilege? Why measure it in dollars and cents?

    Sending SMS to 1.5 mil affected and those mil not affect, only the Telcom wins.

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  • Malaysia boleh Singapore bodoh:

    The first action that should have been taken is to sack the Health Minister and the Minister in charge of Cyber Defense. This is a gargantuan failure of management and the buck stops with them. Their replacement can then convene a COI to determine the details of the failure. Having the current Minister in Charge of Cyber Defense convene the COI make it appear he is not responsible for what happened. His job is only to determine the details of the failures below him. This is WRONG. It shows that the Ministers with high (obscene) salaries are not accountable. This is another compelling reason for REGIME CHANGE.

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  • Emperor new clothes:

    opposition dude:
    PAP likes showing us all how good they are so just wait for the next major incident to happen. It won’t be long trust me.

    When you have had major MRT disruptions for years on end followed by floods and failed AGO audits you know nothing is beyond the ever incomplacent PAP.

    There is no such thing as all government systems not having internet access. The various government websites are all prime targets for hackers. Who knows, the same group of state sponsored hackers may well attempt to penetrate PAP’s way too lousy internet systems again.

    And this time, they might even uncover the cost of building BTOs, Temashit’s remuneration packages and just how much we have got in our reserves!

    Yes, that idiot who said the stolen data are worthless data will be proven wrong in time to cum.

    Those data are factual data that we can never change and identifies us forever. This constraints what future smart nation implementations can do.

    That idiot proves he is one by saying what he said. Faux Pas of a eunuch.

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  • UniQ:

    I guess all Sinkies should remove the word ACCOUNTABILITY from all dictionary sold on Sinkiland. Plus all school should stop teaching about responsibility and accountability, as there is no such thing on this land starting from the very top. Worst off, Sinkies all condone to this practice !!
    Thus stop complaining and reframe everyone’s value to go with the flow practice by the immortals on Sinkiland.

    .Period.

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  • Insider Threat:

    Please strengthen security measures against insider threat bcos gov workstations can be discounted from internet so outsider Attack from the internet is almost impossible. The suggested security measure is use singaporean only IT staff for confidential system development, implementation and operations. This covers financial/banking, critical infrastructure, government systems, etc.

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    What Cyber ATTACK??? ownself ATTACK ownself lah!!!… Announcement zero on the Pondan and his medical data??? every doctor in Singhealth and the Health Ministry KNOWS he will Die Soon only when…An indicator is The Owl Visit in August 2017…2 (TWO) years that is all he has…same as father 2013 visit call back time 2015

    Need to KNOW MORE???…he Hopes to die before the GE to collect Sympathy Votes like his father lah!!

    BUT… are Singaporeans THAT STOOPID??? the results will tell leh!!!

    TIMELINE:

    1974…Leegal Abortion +-2-Million aborted at last count 2016 with the year having its LOWEST ABORTION @-+30,000 according to The Shitty Time “HEADLINES” with an Editorial thrown in for Good Measure

    1994…Open Door policy for FTs to come and replace that LOST generation of 2Million babies

    2014…The Beginning of the END of the Core Generation and their Descendants, all the HardWork-Sacrifices-and Sufferings 2years in NS to accommodate a population of 40% REPLACEMENTS

    2018…Lies & MORE Lies (In Indonesia it is Lee & more Lee)to hide the REAL Truth from The BS HARD Truth

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  • rukidding:

    Shamukan must have “scared the shit” out of his live in Lombok earthquake.

    Lucky he did not get “crushed” from falling debris.

    But he seems to be awfully quiet about this “breach of security” ???

    Talk so loud ,louder than any black panther…but when happen to own kaki ….suddenly “lost his balls and follow his boss,,,,,,chwee tat Lan ” ???

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  • Smart Nation?:

    Not there yet, don’t rush things!

    Once we are better prepared and more alert, then we call ourselves a Smart Nation. If not, stay humble and continue to learn the ropes first!

    Smart Nation gets hacked is rather embarrassing!

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  • Closed Door COI ?:

    Ownself check Ownself again?

    Might as well conduct it in Parliament!

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