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

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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…


Meat plant closures spreading after cyberattack on JBS – Silicon Valley

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.

By Fabiana Batista, Michael Hirtzer and Elizabeth Elkin | Bloomberg

A cyberattack on JBS SA, the largest meat producer globally, has forced the shutdown of some of the world’s largest slaughterhouses, and there are signs that the closures are spreading.

JBS’s five biggest beef plants in the U.S. — which altogether handle 22,500 cattle a day — have halted processing following a weekend attack on the company’s computer networks, according to JBS posts on Facebook, labor unions and employees. Those outages alone have wiped out nearly a fifth of America’s production.

Slaughter operations across Australia were also down, according to a trade group. One of Canada’s largest beef plants was idled for a second day.

It’s unclear exactly how many plants have been affected by the attack globally as JBS has yet to release details that granular. The prospect of more extensive shutdowns around the world is already upending agricultural markets and raising concerns about food security as hackers increasingly target critical infrastructure. In the U.S., JBS accounts for about a quarter of all beef capacity and roughly a fifth of all pork capacity. Livestock futures slumped while pork prices rose.

The Brazilian meat giant shut its North American and Australian computer networks after an organized assault on Sunday on some of its servers, the company said by email. Without commenting on operations at its plants, JBS said the incident may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.

“Retailers and beef processors are coming from a long weekend and need to catch up with orders,” Steiner Consulting Group said in its Daily Livestock Report. “If they suddenly get a call saying that product may not deliver tomorrow or this week, it will create very significant challenges in keeping plants in operation and the retail case stocked up.”

JBS closed meat processing facilities in Utah, Texas, Wisconsin and Nebraska and canceled shifts at plants in Iowa and Colorado on Tuesday, according to union officials and employees. Union Facebook posts also said some kill and fabrication shifts in the U.S. have also been canceled. Pork and chicken facilities across the nation are also…


Cyberattack Are You Ready? | Fort Worth Business Press

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.

If you think computer security isn’t a big deal or it’s not your problem, you’re dead wrong.

  • Ransomware attacks cost businesses an estimated $300,000 per incident last year.
  • Colonial Pipeline paid hackers a $4.4 million ransom to get back online.

Can you afford to cough up thousands or millions to online blackmailers? Big or small, you’re at risk.

Join FBI Special Agent Brett Leatherman and Cybersecurity Expert Michael Moore from M3 Networks for FWBP’s webinar “Cyberattack Are You Ready.”

Learn how to keep your company safe from hackers and cyber crooks.

  • Are we facing a cybersecurity pandemic?
  • How even your business is a target.
  • How employees put your business at greater risk.
  • Can my business afford cybersecurity protection?
  • Restoring a company’s reputation following an attack.
Brett Leatherman

Brett Leatherman
Supervisory Special Agent 
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Mr. Leatherman manages a team of special agents, computer scientists, and intelligence personnel in North Texas responsible for the investigation and attribution of global national security cyber threats targeting United States interests. The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating cyber-attacks by criminals, nation state actors, and terrorists, and the Dallas Division plays a key role in that effort.

Michael Moore
Founder and CEO
M3 Networks

Michael Moore is a solutions-focused Senior Executive, Advisor, Public Speaker, and Board Member with more than 15 years of success across the information services industry. His broad areas of expertise include network administration, account management, cloud computing, and technical support. Michael holds a leadership position as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of M3 Networks where he oversees the company concentrating on building solutions that incorporate proactive computer maintenance, secure data protection, and responsive IT support.

Dallas FBI Field Office

Ransomware Advisory

Internet Crime Complaint…


Freight brokers urged to increase security in light of pipeline cyberattack

The cyberattack that temporarily shut down the Colonial Pipeline this month serves as a stark reminder that all industries are prone to security threats. A single attack brought the nation to a crawl. Just think of the damage one could cause your operation.

In today’s data-rich transportation and logistics industry, information flows freely from network to network. This is especially true for freight brokerages, which transact large amounts of information both electronically and in the cloud. 

In light of the recent cyberattack, Jamie Cannon, Reliance Partners’ vice president of third-party logistics (3PL), urges freight brokers to examine their cyber risk and insure themselves against damages resulting from such attacks.

Regardless of size, even companies that aren’t household names find themselves victims of digital sabotage, leaving some with heavy financial losses. Though they seem random in nature, these attacks are very much calculated. 

Freight brokers, according to Cannon, hold treasure troves of knowledge on their customers, including sensitive pricing and payment information from shippers and motor carriers. She attests that this puts brokers at an even greater risk than trucking companies.

It’s still unclear how exactly Colonial Pipeline’s network was infiltrated, but cyberattacks are typically perpetuated by similar methods.  

While firewalls are exceptionally good at preventing unauthorized access to one’s network, many hackers gain entry when the door is opened to them. All it takes is the miscue of one employee to inadvertently welcome a host of bad individuals, ultimately compromising the entire network. 

Cannon said, added that the work-from-home business model has put many companies at risk since networks are being accessed from nonsecure locations. 

Phishing is a common method used by hackers to gain access to company data. This often involves baiting unsuspecting employees with emails that can look quite legitimate. “A lot of people are opening [suspicious] emails. There’s certain emails that they shouldn’t respond to, like urgent gift card or wire transfer requests from someone posing as their CEO or…