Hackers claim to have gained access to 150,000 live security-camera feeds — including those of Tesla, hospitals, prisons and even Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a report said Tuesday.
One of the online rogues told Bloomberg that they launched the cyber assault against Verkada Inc. — a Silicon Valley start-up which sells web-operated security-camera systems — on Monday morning to show “just how broadly we’re being surveilled and how little care is put into at least securing the platforms used to do so.”
“It’s just wild how I can just see the things we always knew are happening, but we never got to see,” Tillie Kottmann, part of the international group of online infiltrators, told the outlet.
Kottmann claimed the hack was a virtual breeze.
The group found a user name and password for an administrator account on the internet, which eventually led them to gaining access to footage from customers’ feeds, Kottmann claimed.
The breach provided the hackers with footage from 222 cameras in factories and warehouses run by Tesla, they said.
Some of the footage reviewed to Bloomberg showed workers on a Tesla assembly line in a warehouse in Shanghai, China.
Other feeds that the hackers were able to access showed cops in Stoughton, Mass., interrogating a man in handcuffs.
The security-system intruders also gained access to 330 cameras — some hidden in vents and thermostats — in the Madison County Jail in Huntsville, Ala., Bloomberg said.
At the Graham County detention center in Arizona, 17 cameras are used — and the footage saved to a Verkada account with titles that the hackers could see.
Some footage from the “Commons Area” was titled “ROUNDHOUSE KICK OOPSIE.” The jail’s “Rear Cell Block” produced video that staffers dubbed “SELLERS SNIFFING/KISSING WILLARD???” while footage from inside the “Drunk Tank Exterior” was referred to as “AUTUMN BUMPS HIS OWN HEAD,” the report said.
Security-camera feeds from the rebuilt Sandy Hook Elementary School were hacked, too, the infiltrators said. The original school was torn down after the 2012 massacre there by crazed former student Adam Lanza, who shot dead 20 little kids and six adults.
Cameras from multiple Equinox gyms were among those infiltrated, also, and video could be viewed from a slew of hospitals such as Halifax Health in Florida — including footage of what appeared to be staffers tackling a man on a bed, the outlet said.
Cameras in women’s health clinics were also breached.
Kottmann said the hackers lost access to the feeds after Bloomberg contacted the company.
A Verkada rep told Bloomberg in a statement, “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 potential issue.”
A source familiar with the situation said the company is in the process of alerting customers.
Kottmann said hackers have their reasons for doing what they do.
“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,” the infiltrator told Bloomberg.