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…


GBT Seeking to Adapt xCalibre Pattern Recognition Technology for Medical Imaging Analytics

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SAN DIEGO, June 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GBT Technologies Inc. (OTC PINK: GTCH) (“GBT” or the “Company”), is seeking to adapt its xCalibre image analysis to post process health related imaging data with the goal of detecting potential issues and providing higher accuracy diagnostics. xCalibre imaging algorithms has the capability of processing high resolution images and videos detecting wide variety of pre-defined irregular objects. Using GBT’s proprietary neural network technology along with its computational geometry algorithms, GBT is seeking to adapt xCalibre to analyze post processed imaging of CT, Ultrasound, MRI and X-RAY. The goal will be to identify abnormalities and alerted medical professionals for further investigation. xCalibre system makes it possible to process and analyze imaging information, identifying anomalies of interest. The system includes technology that is protected with the Company’s recent filed image recognition patent. xCalibre’s cognitive capabilities enables it to learn with time and to accumulate knowledge in the same pattern as a human would.

“we intend to develop our xCalibre system using our proprietary computational geometry algorithms to scan, pixelate and analyze a very high-resolution image. We believe our AI technology could make it a potential intelligent assistant for medical professionals in wide variety of health fields. For example, as an assistance in X-RAYS or Ultrasound images. Another example can be a CT or MRI imaging analysis. Our goal is to implement xCalibre to post process images of MRI, X-RAY, Ultrasound and CT, analyzing for suspicious abnormalities. xCalibre is capable of vast amount of data handling, which enables rapid imaging analytics. We believe that such system can be of a great asset for medical professionals providing what is expected to be a precise image analytics assisting with accurate diagnostics.” Stated Danny Rittman the Company’s CTO.

There is no guarantee that the Company will be successful in researching, developing or implementing this system. In order to successfully…


Dissecting The Reasons Behind Medical Device Hacking

Founder and CEO of Alpine Security, a Cerberus Sentinel company, Bestselling Author of The Smartest Person in the Room, Ironman, metal fan.

Very few industries loom as large in the collective cybersecurity consciousness as the medical device industry does — and with good reason. But the reasons why hackers choose this industry are not always as clear-cut as they seem.

One of the most sinister scenes in the long-running U.S. spy drama “Homeland” was one that saw Vice President Walden of the United States murdered remotely via a security vulnerability in his pacemaker. While this storyline is clearly one that belongs on a high-octane TV drama, the reality is that this narrative is grounded in fact. Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s real-life vice president from 2001 to 2009, was sufficiently scared of a similar event. He felt the threat so real that the wireless capabilities in his own pacemaker were disabled in order to prevent this method of assassination from becoming reality.

Personal medical tech is an attack vector that is at the distinctly sexier end of a much larger problem: cyberattacks against medical devices and medical environments. Often the reasons behind a medical hack are more mundane, albeit no less sinister. The main driving force behind cybercriminal activity is the theft of medical or personal data for financial or political gain. I’ll be using this piece to explore some of the reasons why hackers may choose to attack a healthcare environment.

The Theft Of Health Information

When you get to the bare bones of an issue, the cybercrime economy is one of theft, with cybercriminals acting as the internet’s burglars. This remains equally true in a medical context. In terms of PII (personally identifiable information), medical data, often referred to as PHI (protected health information), is among the most sensitive data that can be made public, and its use by cybercriminals for extortion purposes could be immense.

Imagine, for example, if sensitive data from a sexual health clinic or a rehab facility were made public: Individuals — particularly those in the public eye — would be desperate to keep these intimate details private,…


North Korea continues targeting security researchers. Holiday Bear gained access to DHS emails. Charming Kitten is phishing for medical professionals.

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By the CyberWire staff

North Korea continues targeting security researchers.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has published an update on a North Korean cyberespionage campaign targeting security researchers. TAG warned in January that a threat actor was messaging researchers on various social media platforms asking to collaborate on vulnerability research. They also set up a watering hole site that posed as a phony research blog, using an Internet Explorer zero-day.

Now, Google says the actor is using a new website and social media profiles posing as a fake company called “SecuriElite.” TAG writes, “The attacker’s latest batch of social media profiles continue the trend of posing as fellow security researchers interested in exploitation and offensive security. On LinkedIn, we identified two accounts impersonating recruiters for antivirus and security companies. We have reported all identified social media profiles to the platforms to allow them to take appropriate action.” Google also believes the attackers are using more zero-days.

Holiday Bear gained access to DHS emails.

The Associated Press reports that the suspected Russian hackers behind the SolarWinds attack gained access to the emails of former acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and other DHS officials. So far it doesn’t appear that classified communications were compromised, but POLITICO says the number of emails stolen was in the thousands. A State Department spokesperson told POLITICO, “the Department takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard its information and continuously takes steps to ensure information is protected. For security reasons, we are not in a position to discuss the nature or scope of any alleged cybersecurity incidents at this time.”

5 Top ICS Cybersecurity Recommendations in the Year in Review

Find out about the major ICS cyber threats, vulnerabilities and lessons learned from our field work in the just released Year in Review report. You’ll discover 5 recommendations to secure your industrial environment and the 4 new threat activity groups we’re tracking.  Read the executive summary. 

Charming Kitten is phishing for medical professionals.

Proofpoint reports that…