Government-maintained databases are genuinely alluring for criminal hackers. These resources prove to be a treasure trove of data for the hackers, helping them execute their malicious activities. Once again, a government database resource in Taiwan suffered a cyber attack. As disclosed, the Taiwan Ministry of Civil Service data breach exposed the personal information of thousands of civil servants.
Ministry Of Civil Service Data Breach
The Taiwan Ministry of Civil Service (MOCS) has disclosed a security incident affecting thousands of individuals. The Ministry officially disclosed the security incident in a notice shared on their website. The breach allegedly exposed the detailed personal information of over 240,000 civil servants.
The Ministry noticed the security incident upon receiving a tip regarding the breach. Investigating the matter made them realize that the incident has affected a massive number of user records. While the Ministry first received the tip for the breach affecting over 590,000 personnel, they could confirm the impact on about 243,376 individuals who worked between January 1, 2005, and June 30, 2012, in both central and local governments.
Regarding the kind of information breached, the notice stated [translated],
The actual number of people affected is 243,376. The field includes the identity card number, name, service agency, job number, and title.
The Ministry, in their notice, stated that they learned about the availability of the information on foreign websites.
Security Measures Applied
The Taiwan Ministry of Civil Servants data breach caught officials’ attention on June 22, 2019, upon receipt of external reports. After discovering the breach, they took the necessary security measures to handle the matter in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act. Besides, they also reviewed the security measures employed for the relevant systems. As stated in the notice [translated],
In response to this incident, the Department has assisted the Administration’s Department of Safety and Security to assist in the investigation of the root cause and the comprehensive safety inspection of the entire organization.
Nonetheless, they also reassured that they took the affected information system offline in March 2015.
High profile breaches like this seem common place these days. Earlier this year, a similar incident affected the Singapore Ministry of Health database. The incident resulted in a breach of data related to 14000 patients diagnosed with HIV.
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