SingPass website down for 2 hours on Monday due to heavy traffic

The launch of an enhanced SingPass was interrupted by heavy traffic, which left users unable to sign up for the service a day later
The launch of an enhanced SingPass was interrupted by heavy traffic, which left users unable to sign up for the service a day laterPHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The SingPass website was down due heavy traffic for about two hours on Monday morning, a day after the system rolled out a new update.

It left users who wanted to sign up for the new SingPass, which features stronger security capabilities and an improved user interface, unable to log in to do so.

A message on the SingPass website said that maintenance was in progress and apologised for inconvenience caused.

By noon on Monday, the website was back online and users were able to log in to verify their details and sign up for the enhanced SingPass.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), which manages the SingPass system, said in a statement on Monday that the enhanced SingPass system experienced high volume of traffic at about 10am that day.

"While the bandwidth had been increased three-fold to manage the expected influx of visitors to the newly-launched site, the actual traffic this morning surged to almost 12-fold. This resulted in users experiencing intermittent access to government e-services," said a IDA spokesman.

The new SingPass was launched on Sunday. It has enhanced security features, such as two-factor authentication, to better protect sensitive transactions.

Users have to go to www.singpass.gov.sg and log in first to verify their details and sign up for the new SingPass. Under this system, users will log in with their username and SingPass as per usual. When they perform sensitive transactions, they will also have to input a one-time password which will be sent to their mobile phones, or generated through a token.

SingPass is a password that secures Singapore residents' access to more than 200 e-government services, such as checking Central Provident Fund (CPF) account balances, filing taxes and applying for public housing.

It is used by more than 60 government agencies. The enhanced SingPass will affect more than 100 e-services, such as those which deal with personal, financial or health data.

lesterh@sph.com.sg