Photo from BBC

Four government agencies saw their email system down for several hours on Monday (July 24) without the need of a cyber attack. According to state media Straits Times, civil servants in Land Transport Authority, the Housing Board, the National Environment Agency and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore were unable to send out any email, with their outgoing emails stuck in the outbox folder.

The government today (July 26th) issued a press release saying there was no cyber attack and that only “a few” were affected:

“A few users experienced intermittent access to their e-mail and there was no widespread outage…  Such disruptions are not common and it puts patches and software upgrades through quality assurance testing before they are sent out. Still, incidents like this do happen from time to time.”

However this brought greater scrutiny on the integrity and capabilities of the government’s IT system. Last year, the government disabled internet access for the entire civil service because the government does not have enough cyber security capabilities following several successful hacking incidents. Propaganda minister Yaacob Ibrahim then boasted that other countries are “learning” from Singapore how to ban the internet.