Hackers Tap Into Over 150,000 Security Camera at Tesla Facilities, Hospitals, Prisons, and Schools

A group of hackers infiltrated the surveillance systems and shared images on social media, in an attempt to show how easy it was for them to gain access.
Hackers Tap Into Over 150,000 Security Camera at Tesla Facilities, Hospitals, Prisons, and Schools
Image credit: CHUTTERSNAP vía Unsplash.com

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Entrepreneur Staff
3 min read
This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

A new cybersecurity scandal has several companies on edge, including Elon Musk's Tesla, Equinox and the Bank of Utah.

A group of hackers managed to infiltrate the system of Verkada, a technology company that provides surveillance cameras and video recording. About 150,000 security cameras were exposed in the attack, allowing criminals to obtain images from inside prisons, schools, hospitals, and other institutions.

This massive leak has been shared on social networks as part of Operation Panopticon (#OperationPanopticon). A hacker who participated in the attack, identified as Tillie Kottmann, shared some of the material on her Twitter account, which is already suspended.

Hackers had real-time access to footage of a police officer interrogating a handcuffed person, and several people struggling to control a patient in a psychiatric hospital, according to leaked footage shared by Bloomberg.

According to the publication, some of Verkada's cameras are powered by facial recognition technology. Several of them are located at the headquarters of Cloudflare, a US website infrastructure and security company.

Image via Twitter / @ nyancremew

A Verkada representative said in a statement that they are already taking action on the matter.

"We have disabled all internal administrator accounts to prevent any unauthorized access. Our internal security team and the external security firm are investigating the scale and scope of this issue, and we have notified the police," the representative said.

The group of hackers claims that they have accessed video files up to 4K, some of which include audio. This implies that they have been able to see in real time, for example, interviews with suspects inside police stations. As if that were not enough, the hackers obtained administrator permissions, which would allow them to execute future actions on the Verkada platform.


Why hack Verkada cameras?

According to Kottman, the attack served two purposes. One is to expose how extensive surveillance through the security cameras is over the Internet. The other is to demonstrate how easy it is to access these surveillance systems to spy on thousands of restricted sites.


Image via Twitter / @ nyancremew

Speaking to BleepingComputer, Kottman revealed that someone in the group found the username and password of an administrator account. Although it is very sensitive information, the hacker claims that it was exposed on the internet and did not require any sophisticated process to obtain it.

So far it is not known what actions the affected companies and institutions will take, as a massive hack of their surveillance and security systems is not something to be taken lightly.

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