Friday, 3 December 2021

Singaporean health minister apologizes for data leakage of 14,200 with HIV

(Photo: jarun011, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

ROS: Singaporean Health Minister Gan Kim Yon on Monday apologized for data leakage of 14,200 Singaporeans and foreigners diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

An American male citizen has been accused of leaking online personal information of 14,200 Singaporeans and foreigners diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to a press conference held by the Ministry of Health.

The leaked data includes the information of 5,400 Singaporeans diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013, and 8,800 foreigners diagnosed up to December 2011. The leakage included their names, contact details and medical information. Also being put online were the name, identification number, phone number and address of 2,400 people identified through contact tracing up to May, 2007.

The culprit is believed to be Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, who lived in Singapore from 2008 before being jailed in 2017 for several fraud and drug-related offences and lying to the Ministry of Manpower about his own HIV status.

He got the information from his partner Ler Teck Siang, who was head of the National Public Health Unit (NPHU) with the Ministry of Health from March 2012 to May 2013 and had access to the HIV Registry. Gan Kim Yong apologized for the breach, adding that his ministry will continue to strengthen and review their systems and their priority remains on the patients’ well-being.

Singapore suffered another data breach in mid 2018, when hackers filed the worst cyberattack in Singapore and stole the confidential information of 1.5 million patients, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s.

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