IT Security Company COO Indicted Over Cyberattack on Georgia Medical Center

The Chief Operating Officer of an IT security agency is facing a lawsuit due to a financially driven cyberattack on Gwinnett Medical Center based in Lawrenceville, GA last September 2018.

Vikas Singla, aged 45, of Marietta, GA is the Chief Operating Officer of Securolytics, a network security provider in the metro Atlanta area. On June 8, 2021, a federal grand jury accused Singla of allegedly acquiring access to the systems of the healthcare company, interrupting its telephone and network printer solutions, and stealing data from a Hologic R2 digitizing equipment.

As per the Department of Justice, the attack was carried out, partly, for financial reasons and commercial benefit. In accordance with court documents, not less than 10 protected computers were affected during the attack. It is unknown whether or not Singla, or his IT organization, had any former business association with Gwinnett Medical Center and the reason for targeting the medical center.

Singla was sued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on June 10, 2021 and had the following charges 17 counts of bringing about intentional damage to a secured computer and one count of getting data from a protected computer. Singla is facing a maximum 10-year sentence in prison for every of the intentional damage to a secured computer counts and as much as a jail period of 5 years for the stealing information count.

It is thought that Singla didn’t work by itself. As per the indictment, Singla was helped and abetted by other persons, even though they were anonymous. Singla pleaded innocent to the accusations and is out on bond. No trial date has been set yet.

Criminal interruptions of hospital computer systems may have awful results, stated Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. It is the department’s job to hold liable the people who put at risk the lives of people by harming computers that are necessary in the functioning of our health care services.

This attack on a hospital not simply could have had terrible outcomes, but patients’ personal data was likewise exposed explained Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office. The FBI and our law enforcement associates are motivated to hold responsible, those who purportedly put people’s wellbeing and safety at stake while pushed by greed.

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Christine Garcia is the staff writer on Calculated HIPAA. Christine has several years experience in writing about healthcare sector issues with a focus on the compliance and cybersecurity issues. Christine has developed in-depth knowledge of HIPAA regulations. You can contact Christine at [email protected]. You can follow Christine on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChrisCalHIPAA