Posts

Chief Operating Officer of network security company charged with cyberattack on Gwinnett Medical Center | USAO-NDGA

Opt-in to Cyber Safety. Multiple layers of protection for your devices, online privacy and more.


ATLANTA – Vikas Singla has been arraigned on charges arising out of a cyberattack conducted on Gwinnett Medical Center in 2018. Singla was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 8, 2021.

“Cyberattacks that target important infrastructure, like healthcare, pose a serious threat to public health and safety,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “In this case, Singla allegedly compromised Gwinnett Medical Center’s operations in part for his own personal gain.”

“Criminal disruptions of hospital computer networks can have tragic consequences,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The department is committed to holding accountable those who endanger the lives of patients by damaging computers that are essential in the operation of our healthcare system.”

“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 peoples health and safety at risk while driven by greed.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the indictment, and other information presented in court: Vikas Singla, the Chief Operating Officer of a metro-Atlanta network security company that served the healthcare industry, allegedly conducted a cyberattack on Gwinnett Medical Center that involved:

  • Disrupting phone service,
  • Obtaining information from a digitizing device, and
  • Disrupting network printer service.

The indictment further alleges that the cyberattack was conducted, in part, for financial gain. 

Vikas Singla, 45, of Marietta, Georgia, made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker.  Singla was charged with 17 counts of intentional damage to a protected computer and one count of obtaining information from a protected computer. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a…

Source…

Pima Community College opens new auto tech center to meet high demand for technicians


Pima Community College unveiled its new automotive tech center in downtown Tucson with a goal to help meet high demand for skilled technicians in the industry, including Arizona’s growing electric and autonomous vehicle manufacturing sector. 

The opening of the Automotive Technology and Innovation Center is just the start of a major effort by the district to expand technical training to produce tech workers in other fields and stimulate the local economy. 

Lee Lambert

It’s also the realization of a long sought-after goal for Chancellor Lee Lambert, who came to the district in 2013. 

“I think there’s many of you in this community, I know especially the dealers and all the other automotive folks, you’ve been waiting for this moment,” Lambert said at the recent ribbon cutting for the center. 

Programs in diesel, electric and autonomous vehicles 

Located at the school’s downtown Tucson campus, the two-story, 50,000 square feet center will support programs in diesel, electric and autonomous vehicles and increase training for specific brands such as Ford, Fiat-Chrysler and Subaru. 

Students can study engine diagnosis and repair, electrical fundamentals, steering, alignment, brakes and other programs. 

Education paying off for grads 

Automotive technicians who complete a two-year Automotive Technology Associate degree earn over 20 percent more, on average, than a technician without a degree, college officials said. An automotive technology degree also is a step towards other careers in the field, whether as a dealership manager, mechanic, salesperson or specialist focused on improving the future of automotive technology, school officials said.

Technicians in Arizona are earning an average $22.41 per hour, about 8 percent higher than the national average, according to employment website Indeed.  

Severe auto tech shortage 

There are plenty of positions available for grads. By 2024, the industry is projected to be short by approximately 642,000 automotive, diesel, and collision technicians, according to a report issued by the Phoenix-based TechForce Foundation last year.

Citing both…

Source…

IBM To Establish New Cybersecurity Center For US Federal Clients

Opt-in to Cyber Safety. Multiple layers of protection for your devices, online privacy and more.


WASHINGTON, June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is creating the IBM Center for Government Cybersecurity, a collaborative environment focused on helping federal agencies address current and future cybersecurity threats. The center will facilitate events and learnings, drawing on IBM’s cybersecurity expertise from delivering software and managed services to over 17,500 security customers globally. Working with a group of internal IBM experts and external advisors, including former government officials with decades of cybersecurity experience, the center will leverage IBM technology and host workshops focused on priorities such as zero trust frameworks and cloud security, complemented by access to IBM Research labs to collaborate around the future of encryption.

As recent threats like SolarWinds and the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack against critical infrastructure have shown, the threat landscape has crossed over from the digital world to the physical. In fact, the 2021 IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index found that ransomware accounted for 33% of the attacks on government organizations in 2020. With the US Federal government furthering its investment in hybrid cloud, new approaches for cybersecurity should focus on protecting both systems as well as data – no matter where it is – either on premise, in the cloud, or at the edge.

The IBM Center for Government Cybersecurity will be housed at IBM’s offices in downtown Washington DC. The new facility will feature secured laboratory space where government customers can collaborate on unique solutions for advanced security threats leveraging insights from demos of IBM technologies and services. Initially, IBM will conduct virtual sessions to accommodate any challenges to meeting in person, with the capability to execute engagements at on-site customer locations.

“IBM is committed to helping our US Federal government customers meet cybersecurity modernization requirements – both for current and future threats,” said Stephen LaFleche, General Manager Public and Federal Market, IBM. “Hybrid cloud environments can provide an opportunity to implement new technologies and techniques,…

Source…

San Diego Family Care Center Discloses Possible Data Breach


San Diego Family Care’s Linda Vista Health Center. Photo by Doug Gates

San Diego Family Care announced Friday it has alerted current and former patients and employees about a computer security breach that may have involved their personal information.

Though there is no evidence that anyone’s personal information was misused, the health services provider said it was advising potentially impacted people about the issue, and steps they can take to protect themselves, as a precaution.

The potentially affected data includes names; dates of birth; Social Security numbers or other government identifiers; financial account numbers; medical diagnosis or treatment information; health-insurance information; and client identification numbers, according to SDFC officials.

The issue came to light in December, when officials with SDFC and its business associate, Health Center Partners of Southern California, became aware that their information-technology hosting provider had experienced a data-security irregularity that resulted in the encryption of certain data.

In response, the technology company took steps to secure and restore its systems and launched an investigation with the assistance of computer forensics experts, who determined that some data may have been accessed by an unauthorized party.

Source…