Singapore’s health sector has suffered a massive setback from cyberattacks. Numerous major public hospitals, polyclinics, and healthcare centers in Singapore have experienced a long outage in their online services, causing a temporary blackout of over seven hours.
The Singapore public hospitals outage, which unfolded on November 1, 2023, left users unable to access the websites of renowned institutions like Singapore General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National University Hospital, Changi General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and several others.
Singapore Public Hospitals outage explained
Even the official sites of Sengkang General Hospital, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, and the Institute of Mental Health were affected by this Singapore public hospital outage. This unprecedented event might have been caused by a cyberattack that impacted internet connectivity, resulting in widespread downtime across public healthcare institutions.
However, none of the affected parties and official authorities have pointed out any particular threat actor or a cyberattack for the Singapore public hospital outage. After hours of diligent efforts, internet connectivity was progressively restored by 5:15 p.m., providing relief to users who had been unable to access critical services for most of the day.
Despite the Singapore public hospital’s outage, clinical services and operations within the public healthcare network, including access to patient records and appointment systems, remained fully accessible and unaffected. This ensured that patient care remained uncompromised throughout the incident.
Investigations into the root cause of the internet connectivity outage are currently underway. The IT partner, Synapxe, responsible for managing the affected systems, reported no evidence to suggest that data and internal networks had been compromised.
While efforts were made to seek clarification regarding the incident from Synapxe, no official statement or response has been received at the time of writing, leaving room for speculation regarding the nature of the threat actor and the exact reason behind the downtime.
User Experience During the Singapore Public Hospitals Outage
Reports from affected users indicate that attempts to access the portals were met with a message indicating that data could not be loaded. Despite the inconvenience, SingHealth and the National University Health System (NUHS) assured patients that clinical services were not impacted by the disruption. Both institutions are actively collaborating with Synapxe to rectify the situation and prevent any future occurrences.
To mitigate the impact of the downtime, SingHealth recommended that patients utilize the Health Buddy app for appointments and billing services. Similarly, NUHS encouraged patients to manage their appointments via the OneNUHS app, as services requiring internet applications were temporarily unavailable.
While the incident caused widespread disruption, the resilience of the clinical services and operations ensured that patient care remained unaffected. Investigations into the root cause continue, with no evidence of data compromise reported.
This is an ongoing story and The Cyber Express is closely monitoring the situation. We’ll update this post once we have more information about the Singapore Public Hospitals website outage.
Media Disclaimer: This report is based on internal and external research obtained through various means. The information provided is for reference purposes only, and users bear full responsibility for their reliance on it. The Cyber Express assumes no liability for the accuracy or consequences of using this information.