American is suspected of leaking the details of 14,200 people diagnosed with HIV in Singapore
- Data of 14,200 HIV patients, including foreign visitors, leaked in Singapore
- Authorities believe US citizen Mikhy K. Farrera Brochez is the culprit
- Lived in Singapore 2008 to 2016, and dated a doctor with access to HIV register
Confidential data of 14,200 people diagnosed with HIV, including foreign visitors, has been stolen in Singapore and leaked online.
Authorities believe an HIV-positive American whose partner was a senior Singaporean doctor is behind the data breach.
Mikhy K. Farrera Brochez, 33, lived in Singapore from 2008 to 2016 and dated Dr Ler Teck Siang, who had access to the HIV registry.
Accused: Authorities believe HIV-positive American Mikhy K. Farrera Brochez (pictured) is behind the hack and leaked the data of 14,200 people
Brochez was convicted of fraud and drug-related offences in March 2017 and was deported from Singapore after completing his sentence.
‘Confidential information regarding 14,200 individuals diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013, and 2,400 of their contacts, is in the possession of an unauthorised person,’ the country’s health ministry said in a statement.
‘The information has been illegally disclosed online… We are sorry for the anxiety and distress caused by this incident.’
The information includes names, identification numbers, contact details, HIV test results and other medical information.
Access to the information has been blocked but it is still in the possession of the person who leaked it and could be disclosed again, the ministry warned.
Brochez lived in Singapore from 2008 to 2016 and dated a senior doctor who had access to the HIV registry was convicted of fraud and drug-related offences. He is thought to be pictured giving a lecture on early childhood studies
The leaked information includes names, identification numbers, contact details, HIV test results and other medical information
Those affected are 5,400 Singaporeans diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013, and 8,800 foreigners diagnosed with HIV up to December 2011.
The hack comes after the health records of 1.5million Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, were stolen in a suspected state-sponsored attack in June and July, the country’s biggest ever data breach.
Brochez is not currently in the city-state, the ministry said, adding that authorities were seeking assistance from their foreign counterparts.
He moved to Singapore in 2008 and, having forged his qualifications, was able to secure a job at a local polytechnic, lecturing in early childhood studies and psychology studies.
Brochez told a Singapore newspaper in 2010 that he was able to read, write and speak fluent Hebrew, Spanish and English by the age of three, according to the Independent.
He used his ex-boyfriend’s blood for an HIV test so he could hide the fact he had the virus and work in Singapore.
Dr Ler Teck Siang was convicted in September of abetting Brochez in criminal activity, and sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment. He is appealing.
Earlier this month, an official inquiry into last year’s data breach highlighted a litany of failings, including weaknesses in computer systems, and said authorities believed a state was likely behind the attack.