CEO of Security Firm Charged with Cyberattack of Georgia Hospital Network
Feds have wrapped up a 2018 cyberattack case that jeopardized patient information at Gwinnett Medical Center hospitals.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are a prime target of cyberattacks, requiring ample investigation to determine the cause and the culprit. A recent case just closed by federal authorities involved a 2018 cyberattack at Gwinnett Medical Center hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth, Georgia.
While many cyberattacks are carried out by random individuals with seemingly no connection to the healthcare industry, this particular case hit close to home. It was allegedly carried out by a CEO of a network security firm hired by Gwinnett Medical Center. Authorities say it was a fairly big attack, causing widespread disruptions to the hospital’s computer, phone and printer systems, and putting patient information at risk.
The attack landed Vikas Singla in trouble with the feds. He now faced 17 charges for intentional damage to a protected computer and one count of obtaining information from a protected computer.
According to prosecutors in a June 11 report by The Telegraph, the hack was motivated by Singla’s personal financial gain. The FBI is unsure if Singla received any money from the attack. Singla pleaded guilty to all 18 charges.
The attack of Gwinnett Medical Center hospital’s computer, phone and printer systems is just one more example of how important it is for hospitals to implement tight security measures of their networks and to continually monitor for threats as hackers and malware grow increasingly sophisticated and nefarious.
Whether the intension is driven by financial gain or simply to exploit information, the damages can be detrimental both to the healthcare system and individuals receiving medical care.
As reported on June 11 by The Telegraph, “This cyberattack on a hospital not only could have had disastrous consequences, but patient’s personal information was also compromised,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are determined to hold accountable those who allegedly put people’s health and safety at risk while driven by greed.”
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