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Hackers breached over 150,000 cameras inside jails, hospitals, and Tesla

Hackers were aiming to express their concerns about the dangers that could come along with facial recognition technology.

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Verkada Inc, a Silicon Valley security camera company has been hacked. According to Bloomberg, hackers have claimed to have accessed over 150,000 cameras across various different businesses. The hackers claim to have accessed the cameras at Silicon Valley startup Verkada’s own offices as well as cameras located in its customers’ facilities.

Verkada services many companies with its security camera technology. Among those customers is car giant, Tesla, internet security company Cloudfare, as well as various other business around the United States. Verkada services a wide range of clients, including hospitals, prisons, and even some private residences. All of these businesses were subject to the recent data breach.

Verkada’s security cameras are set up with facial recognition software. With anyone having access to these feeds, both live and archived, many individuals’ sensitive information could have easily been exposed.

What was the purpose of this hack?

As Bloomberg originally reported, a hacking collective has taken responsibility for the Verkada breach. One of the hackers claiming responsibility, Tillie Kottmann, made a statement regarding the intent of this hack, saying the reason for the hacks was, “lots of curiosity, fighting for freedom of information and against intellectual property, a huge dose of anti-capitalism, a hint of anarchism — and it’s also just too much fun not to do it.” It seems that these hackers were aiming to express their concerns about the dangers that could come along with facial recognition technology, although this was probably not the best way to do that.

Verkada has been taking this breach seriously. A spokesperson for the company released a statement saying, “We have disabled all internal administrator accounts to prevent any unauthorized access. Our internal security team and external security firm are investigating the scale and scope of this issue, and we have notified law enforcement.”

UPDATE 3/11/2021 9:44 AM ET: Verkada employees had widespread access to feeds from customers’ cameras, according to new reports from Bloomberg and The Washington Post. “We literally had 20-year-old interns that had access to over 100,000 cameras and could view all of their feeds globally,” one former senior-level employee told The Washington Post.

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