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Welfare cases dip 0.2%

The overall Comprehensive Social Security Assistance caseload dropped by 459 cases to 199,941 in January, down 0.2% from December last year, the Social Welfare Department announced today.   The total number of recipients was 273,349.   Low-earnings cases registered a month-to-month reduction of 0.8% to 1,568. Unemployment cases fell 0.6% to 17,075.   Single parent cases dropped 0.5% to 20,385. Old age cases dipped 0.3% to 112,032.   Meanwhile, ill-health cases increased 0.3% to 27,817, and permanent disability cases remained steady at 17,164. http://dlvr.it/T32R7Z

Some online services suspended

For the sake of prudence, the Electrical & Mechanical Services Department announced that it suspended several online services after it suspected that part of its network system had been hacked.   Apart from explaining that the initial decision to temporarily suspend some online services was due to an abnormality found in the network system today, the department expressed that it is very concerned about the incident.   An initial investigation revealed that no leakage of personal data has been found.    Online services including Registration & Permit Office Appointment Booking, the Online Continuous Professional Development Training Platform for Registered Electrical Workers and the electronic platform for the lift and escalator trade have been suspended.   For prudence's sake, the department made it clear that it will notify people concerned and added that if anyone encounters any suspicious circumstances, they should report it to Police promptly.   It apologised for the inconvenience caused and stated that it will resume the services affected as soon as possible.   The department stressed that its information system complied with the Government's IT Security Guidelines, adding that it has further strengthened the computer system's network security to ensure no recurrence of similar incidents.   The case has also been reported to the Security Bureau, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data and Police’s Cyber Security & Technology Crime Bureau.   Until the online services resume, members of the public or the trade can access the services through other channels.   For enquiries, call 2333 3762.
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