Exercise Cyber Star adds complex cyber attack scenarios to strengthen Singapore's readiness

In its third run, Exercise Cyber Star's more than 250 participants from the public and private sectors scrambled to isolate the cyber attack and restore the operations of critical services including healthcare, land transport and energy.
In its third run, Exercise Cyber Star's more than 250 participants from the public and private sectors scrambled to isolate the cyber attack and restore the operations of critical services including healthcare, land transport and energy.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A widespread compromise of industrial control systems in critical services sectors here was among several more complex scenarios tested for the first time at a nation-wide cyber-security exercise.

In its third run, Exercise Cyber Star's more than 250 participants from the public and private sectors scrambled to isolate the cyber attack and restore the operations of critical services including healthcare, land transport and energy.

Led by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), Exercise Cyber Star is a whole-of-government effort to test Singapore's cyber-incident management and emergency response plans.

CSA chief executive Mr David Koh said that last year's well-planned cyber attack on SingHealth has shown that Singapore is not immune to cyber risks.

"The need for our critical sectors to strengthen their cyber-security readiness and response to cyber threats is pressing. These exercises help to enhance incident response processes and communication across sectors, and boost public and private sector cooperation, so that we can respond effectively in the event of a cyber attack," said Mr Koh.

Some of the other scenarios exercised included Internet connectivity disruption, communications network disruption, as well as simulations of multi-dimensional cyber threats such as domain name system manipulation and phishing.

All eleven designated critical information infrastructure sectors were involved. They are: government, infocomm, energy, aviation, maritime, land transport, healthcare, banking and finance, water, security and emergency, and media.

Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, who observed the exercise, said that as Singapore has undergone cyber attacks before, the country must expect that it will continue to be exposed to them.

 

"So we must be prepared to prevent, defend, and also respond to the consequences of cyber attacks," he added.

Senior Minister Teo was accompanied by Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-Charge of Cybersecurity S Iswaran, and Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Senior Minister of State in-charge of Cybersecurity.

Singapore's worst cyber attack was in June last year, when hackers accessed the database of public healthcare cluster SingHealth and stole the personal data of 1.5 million patients and the outpatient prescription information of 160,000 people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.