White hat hackers gained access more than 150,000 surveillance cameras

Pierluigi Paganini March 10, 2021

A group of hackers claimed to have compromised more than 150,000 surveillance cameras at banks, jails, schools, and prominent companies like Tesla and Equinox.

A group of US hackers claimed to have gained access to footage from 150,000 security cameras at banks, jails, schools, healthcare clinics, and prominent organizations. The news was first reported by Bloomberg News who reported it to the vendor Verkada.

Hackers also posted images captured from the hacked surveillance video on Twitter with an #OperationPanopticon hashtag, published images show that they have gained root shell access to the surveillance cameras used by Telsa and Cloudflare.

Cloudflare shell
Tillie Kottmann’s Tweet

One of the members of the group, Tillie Kottmann, revealed that they have gained access to these surveillance cameras using a super admin account for the surveillance company Verkada.


According to BleepingComputer, Kottmann has performed reverse engineering of the firmware used by Verkada and discovered hardcoded credentials for a super admin account.

Once Verkada became aware of the hack, it has disabled all internal administrator accounts to prevent any unauthorised access.

“We have disabled all internal administrator accounts to prevent any unauthorised access.” a Verkada spokesperson told the BBC. “Our internal security team and external security firm are investigating the scale and scope of this issue, and we have notified law enforcement.”

“This afternoon we were alerted that the Verkada security camera system that monitors main entry points and main thoroughfares in a handful of Cloudflare offices may have been compromised.” Cloudflare spokesperson told the BBC:

“The cameras were located in a handful of offices that have been officially closed for several months.”

When asked about the motivation behind the hack, Kottmann explained that the reasons were, “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”.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, surveillance cameras)

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