Singtel Data Breach leaks data of over 1.29 lakh customers

In the world where the need for data protection is rising, the recent cyberattack on Singtel, the telecommunication firm in Singapore, leaked the data of nearly 130,000 customers. This data included their data such as names, date of births and addresses, reports PARVATHI SAJIV. 


On 17 February, the personal data of customers of Singtel, a telecommunication firm in Singapore, were stolen in a data breach.

In a disclosure, the company stated that nearly 130,000 customer’s data was stolen. It revealed that 23 enterprises, 45 staff of a corporate customer, and 28 former Singtel employees were victims of the data breach. The information from the enterprises included suppliers, partners, and corporate customers.

The stolen personal information includes the customers’ National Registration Identity Card numbers and a combination of names, dates of birth, mobile numbers, and addresses, the group said.

“While this data theft was committed by unknown parties, I’m very sorry this has happened to our customers and apologize unreservedly to everyone impacted,” said Singtel’s Group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon.

Yuen Kuan Moon said, “Data privacy is paramount, we have disappointed our stakeholders and not met the standards we have set for ourselves”

The initial investigation into the cyberattack on Singtel concluded to suggest that the files were accessed through the File Transfer Appliance ( FTA) file-sharing system provided by third-party company Accellion.

The hack was part of a wider global breach of the FTA file sharing system where it affected other organizations such as New Zealand’s central bank, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and the Washington State Auditor’s Office in the United States.

The perpetrators of the attack have not been identified yet.

“Companies like Singtel are like fortresses… and very hard to penetrate. However, attackers always go after the weakest link, like vendors,” said  Shane Chiang, chief executive of local cyber-security firm Momentum Z.

According to The Strait Times, Stas Protassov, co-founder and technology president of cyber-security firm Acronis, said that if the data was compromised, it could potentially land in the black market where it can be sold. It can also be used to carry out a targeted attack on the victim’s company.

(Parvathi Sajiv is a student of the Symbiosis Centre of Media and Communication, Pune, and is an intern with The Leaflet.)