Tesla was one of several companies targeted as hackers say they obtained livestreams to 222 cameras located at factories and warehouses owned by the electric car company.
A security startup known as Verkada was hacked into by a group of hackers who gained access to over 150,000 total internet-connected security camera streams. Other companies, like Equinox and Cloudflare, were also affected by the security mishap, which gave the hackers an inside look at some company facilities. The hack also exposed an incident at a Florida hospital, where eight hospital workers were pinning a man to a bed.
Tesla had a total of 222 of its cameras across company facilities be affected in the breach.
In Tesla’s case, the company said (via Bloomberg):
“Based on our current understanding, the cameras being hacked are only installed in one of our suppliers, and the product is not being used by our Shanghai factory or any of our Tesla stores or services centers. Our data collected from Shanghai factories and other places mentioned are stored on local servers.”
The breach was performed by a group of international hackers who “intended to show the pervasiveness of video surveillance and the ease with which systems could be broken into,” Tillie Kottmann, a hacker for the group, said. Kottmann didn’t identify whether it was their real name and chose to be identified with they/them pronouns.
Kottman also said that some reasons for the hacking include:
“…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.”
As a result, Verkada spokespeople said in a statement that, “We have disabled all internal administrator accounts to prevent any unauthorized access.”
Tesla has been the target of several hacks in the past. In August 2020, a company employee was contacted by Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, a Russian citizen accused of conspiring to breach the network of a US company and introduce malware to company networks. Kriuchkov offered a Giga Nevada employee $1 million to install the malware, which would allow hackers to occupy the Tesla information security team. The plan never worked out as the Giga Nevada employee contacted the FBI, who took down Kriuchkov on August 22, 2020.
Tesla employee foregoes $1M payment, works with FBI to thwart cybersecurity attack
It is unknown whether the latest security breach warrants any criminal charges. While Tesla was one victim of the attack, hospitals, jails, schools, and police departments were all affected by the security breach.