130,000 Singtel customers’ information stolen in data breach

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Personal information of nearly 130,000 Singtel customers was stolen after a recent data breach of a third-party file-sharing system, the local telco said on Wednesday.

Singtel has completed initial investigations into the breach and established which files on the Accellion file transfer appliance were accessed illegally, the company said in a news release.

The personal information taken includes about 129,000 customers’ NRIC numbers and a combination of names, dates of birth, mobile numbers and addresses, said Singtel.

In addition, bank account details of 28 former Singtel employees and credit card details of 45 staff members of a corporate customer with Singtel mobile lines were taken.

“Some information” from 23 enterprises, including suppliers, partners and corporate customers, was also stolen.

The telco has started notifying all affected individuals and enterprises to help them and their staff manage the possible risks involved and take appropriate follow-up action, it said.

The Singtel building in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP

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

“Data privacy is paramount, we have disappointed our stakeholders and not met the standards we have set for ourselves.

“Given the complexity and sensitivity of our investigations, we are being as transparent as possible and providing information that is accurate to the best of our knowledge. We are doing our level best to keep our customers supported in mitigating the potential risks.”

Singtel said a “large part” of the leaked data includes its “internal information that is non-sensitive”, such as data logs, test data, reports and emails.

In response to queries from CNA, the Personal Data Protection Commission said it is aware of the data breach and is investigating.

Accellion, which Singtel used as a third-party file-sharing system, was the target of a “sophisticated” cyberattack exploiting a “previously unknown vulnerability”, said the telco.

When it was first alerted to exploits against the system in December last year, Singtel “promptly applied” a series of patches provided by Accellion to “plug the vulnerability”, it said. The last patch was on December 27 last year.

On January 23, Accellion advised that a new vulnerability had emerged that rendered the earlier patches previously applied in December ineffective.