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System fault at checkpoints not due to cyber attack: ICA

SINGAPORE — The intermittent slowness of the immigration clearance system at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints was caused by a “technical glitch”, and had nothing to do with a cyber attack, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Wednesday (May 17).

System fault at checkpoints not due to cyber attack: ICA

A long queue of cars and motorcycles at the Causeway. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — The intermittent slowness of the immigration clearance system at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints was caused by a “technical glitch”, and had nothing to do with a cyber attack, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Wednesday (May 17).

The system experienced bouts of slowness between 5.40pm on Tuesday and early morning on Wednesday, leading to delays at both checkpoints.

“The system returned to normal on May 17 at 5.30am. ICA apologises for the inconvenience caused to all affected travellers,” the authority said in a response to media queries.

The ICA’s statement that the incident was “not a cyber attack” came amid worldwide concerns over the WannaCry ransomware attack, which has crippled computer systems in more than 100 countries since Friday.

Following the intermittent slowness of the clearance system on Tuesday evening, the ICA said: “As this coincides with the departure peak period, more resources have been deployed to manage the situation at the land checkpoints. Investigations are ongoing.”

In an update at around 6.40am on Wednesday, the ICA said that the immigration clearance system at both checkpoints had returned to normal, although traffic was still expected to be heavy during the morning peak hours.

While WannaCry has affected institutions such as Britain’s National Health Service, “no critical information infrastructure” in Singapore has been affected by the ransomware thus far, said Mr Dan Yock Hau, director of the National Cyber Incident Response Centre, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), on Tuesday. 

However, about 500 Internet Protocol (IP) addresses here could have been affected by the WannaCry attack, he added. 

While the files of those affected might not have been encrypted because of the “kill switch” triggered by an analyst from Britain who goes by the Twitter name MalwareTech, users would still need to patch and clean up their systems.

Ransomware is a type of malware — software that is harmful to a computer — that essentially takes over a computer and prevents users from accessing data on the affected machine until a ransom is paid.

 

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