Hearings, some public, on hack of SingHealth to resume Sept 21

A tranche of hearings, some of which will be open to the public, will start on Sept 21 as the four-member Committee of Inquiry (COI) investigates the private data breach involving 1.5 million SingHealth patients.

The hearings, lasting two weeks until Oct 5, will be held in Court 5A of the Supreme Court, said the COI Secretariat in a statement yesterday.

Details of the hearings which will be open to the public will be provided in the coming days.

Some people, including cyber security experts, may be called on to present their views on several matters, including ways to better protect SingHealth's patient database and the large databases residing in public sector computer systems.

They have been invited to submit their written representations and indicate whether they are willing to appear before the COI to give evidence.

Meanwhile, a review of the network security of Singapore's 11 critical service sectors will be completed by the end of this year. Specifically, critical information infrastructure (CII) owners were instructed to remove links to "untrusted" external networks or use secure information gateways.

Mr Aloysius Cheang, Asia-Pacific executive vice-president of the Centre for Strategic Cyberspace + Security Science, a think-tank, said the instructions to CII owners were a good fundamental step, "but there is still a lot of work to be done to develop meaningful controls and strategies".

The COI, headed by former chief district judge Richard Magnus, convened in private on July 24 to inquire into the events contributing to the breach, which took place between June 27 and July 4 this year.

The first hearing by the high-level panel took place behind closed doors on Aug 28.

The SingHealth cyber attack led to the leakage of outpatient prescription information of 160,000 people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and several ministers.

Those with personal data related concerns are urged to contact the Personal Data Protection Commission.

Written submissions must be emailed to by 5pm on Oct 31.