A groups of hackers has gained access to roughly 150,000 Verkada security cameras, exposing a slew of customer live feeds.
Verkada is a Silicon Valley startup that specializes in security systems. The company’s cameras are used by a wide range of companies and organizations, including Tesla, police departments, hospitals, clinics, schools and prisons.
The group responsible is an international collective of hackers. They claim to have hacked Verkada to shed light on how pervasive surveillance has become.
In one of the videos, seen by Bloomberg, eight hospital staffers are seen tackling a man and restraining him. Other video feeds include women’s clinics, as well as psychiatric hospitals. What’s more, some of the feeds — including those of some hospitals — use facial recognition to identify and categorize people.
The feeds from the Madison Country Jail in Huntsville, Alabama were particularly telling. Of the 330 cameras in the jail, some were “hidden inside vents, thermostats and defibrillators.”
The entire case is disturbing on multiple fronts. It’s deeply concerning that a company specializing in security, and selling that security to other organizations, would suffer such a devastating breach. It’s equally concerning, however, to see the depth of surveillance being conducted, as well as the lengths being taken to hide the surveillance.