Mindef BMTC Didn’t Realise Recruits’ NRIC Numbers Were On Facebook, Netizen Says Commander Should Sign 30 Extra

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Another Security Breach At Mindef

Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (Mindef) has been a regular feature in the news recently, for all the wrong reasons.

In what was said to be an “oversight”, personal data of newly graduated BMTC recruits was temporarily revealed via a public Facebook post.

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This gaffe came just weeks after Mindef reported that it had been hacked, with the personal info of 850 personnel stolen.

Leaked

For almost a day, the NRIC numbers of a batch of recruits were made accessible to the public via a Google Drive link.

Recruits typically have their pictures uploaded online for their family and friends to see, as well as for them to keep the pictures as a keepsake, according to Today.

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But Basic Military training Headquarters (BMTC) Facebook page published photos at 10pm last Saturday (March 11) that mistakenly had the NRIC numbers of the recruits displayed on the photos themselves.

Not really the kind of fame the recruits want to have, don’t you think?

The BMTC had started using a new system, where the photos were auto-generated for recruits by scanning their SAF 11B.

This new idea obviously needs further thought.

Unaware

Worse still, the post stayed online till noon the next day, when BMTC took it down.

And it took a reader of Today’s Voices page to alert the public about the slip-up.

Read the letter sent in by Mr Darryl Lo to Today.

Apology

Recruits almost never hear apologies from their military superiors, more so from a colonel.

But now the whole nation has heard Colonel Desmond Yeo, commander of the BMTC, apologise in a statement released to Today, calling the snafu an “oversight”.

When asked about the concern over the mistake made, Col Yeo told Today: “Even if it was a mistake, I would assume they’d be able to deal with whatever happens, and if I’ve any concerns, I should be able to approach them and they’d have a proper solution.”

Not sure who “they” is, but “they” already made the mistake — so we wonder why “they” can be trusted to deal with whatever happens and come out with a proper solution?

Netizen Hate

Of course, netizens poured scorn on Mindef, with some saying there should be some punishment meted out:

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Hacking Themselves

This comes only a month after Mindef revealed it had been hacked, with the personal info of 850 NSmen and staff compromised.

Apparently, the hackers shouldn’t have bothered — they could have just waited awhile for Mindef to release the personal info of NSmen on their own accord:

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Security Lapses

Two security breaches in less than a month — is Mindef becoming lax about security?

That would be scary, considering the agency is protecting our nation.

Mindef’s security protocol needs to be relooked at to ensure that these occurrences don’t become too frequent.

Featured image from Facebook

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