SINGAPORE - National authentication systems SingPass and CorpPass, which secure access to hundreds of e-government services, suffered their second setback this year when they broke down on Thursday (Nov 29).
The problem surfaced as early as 7.30pm when users trying to access their Central Provident Fund accounts or pay parking fines could not do so.
GovTech, the agency behind these systems, put up an alert on its Facebook page at 7.50pm.
The system was partly restored at 8.35pm. By then, SingPass users could log in to e-government services using their OneKey hardware token to generate a one-time password (OTP), or by entering the OTP received via SMS.
But the SingPass Mobile app, launched in October, was fully restored only at 3.22am on Friday.
In a statement late on Thursday night, a GovTech spokesman said: “Some users may continue to experience difficulties logging in via SingPass Mobile app. We are investigating to ascertain the root cause and working to restore the app fully. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to users.”
While it is not clear what caused the outage this time, a software error that was not picked up during SingPass Mobile's testing marred its launch in October.
On its launch day, many eager users could not register for SingPass Mobile, which allows people to scan their fingerprints or faces to access e-government services.
The app's inherent biometric features were meant to solve the problem of users creating easy-to-guess passwords and compromising their security, or others sharing passwords freely with friends or, worse still, with scammers.
In February this year, a system software bug led to SingPass and CorpPass suffering intermittent outages that lasted 10 hours over two days. It was the longest breakdown since SingPass was set up in 2003.
Some Malaysian workers had to return home, as their work permit could not be processed. Companies risked fines because they could not file their employees' Central Provident Fund contributions on time.