Fake e-mail sent in Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin's name; IT system not compromised

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin posted a picture on Facebook of a fake e-mail sent out in his name to former minister of state Teo Ser Luck.
Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin posted a picture on Facebook of a fake e-mail sent out in his name to former minister of state Teo Ser Luck.PHOTOS: DESMOND WEE, FACEBOOK/TAN CHUAN JIN

SINGAPORE - Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin clarified on Friday (Aug 31) that his e-mail account was not compromised, after posting a picture on Facebook of a fake e-mail sent out in his name.

On Thursday afternoon, Mr Tan posted a screenshot of an e-mail that had been sent to former minister of state Teo Ser Luck, claiming to be from Mr Tan. Titled "I Need Your Help Urgent", the e-mail read: "Hi TEO Ser Luck, How are you doing? Please confirm if you are available. I need you to help ASAP. Waiting to read back from you. Regards, TAN Chuan-Jin."

Mr Tan told The Straits Times that he had first discovered the fake e-mail on Thursday morning, when Mr Teo messaged him about it. He subsequently received messages from a few other people telling him they had also received such e-mails.

Mr Tan said that the first thing he did was to inform the IT security department and check if the systems had been compromised, as well as to see what measures needed to be taken.

He was later informed that neither his e-mail account nor the IT systems had been compromised, and that the fake e-mail had been a case of someone "spoofing" his name using another e-mail address.

This meant whoever sent the e-mail had created another e-mail address so as to make it display his name, possibly in an attempt to get recipients to release information to them.

Mr Teo also urged members of the public to "be careful when dealing with these sorts of e-mails".

He said: "We need to keep ourselves constantly updated - no need to be too paranoid, but exercise basic vigilance.

"When we exercise diligence, we should be able to save ourselves a lot of grief."


Correction note: An earlier version of this story stated that Mr Teo Ser Luck is still a minister of state. We are sorry for the error.