Cybersecurity professional arrested on charges of hacking Atlanta-area hospitals

Vikas Singla, the chief operating officer of a network security company based in Atlanta, has been arrested and charged with allegedly hacking a local not-for-profit health care provider in 2018.

Mr. Singla, 45, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday and was arraigned on 18 counts stemming from what the Department of Justice described as a cyberattack on the Gwinnett Medical Center.

Prosecutors allege the defendant hacked into computers that controlled a phone system and 16 printers at hospitals operated by Gwinnett, which runs facilities in the cities of Duluth and Lawrenceville, Ga.

Mr. Singla, of nearby Marietta, also stands accused of hacking into a computer belonging to the medical center and stealing information “for purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain.”

“This cyberattack on a hospital not only could have had disastrous consequences, but patients’ personal information was also compromised,” said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Atlanta field office. “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,” he said in a statement.