Tesla was one of many companies hacked, with hackers claiming to have accessed livestreams from 222 cameras at Tesla’s factories and warehouses.
A group of hackers broke into Verkada, a technology startup, and gained access to over 150,000 internet-connected security camera streams. Other companies, such as Equinox and Cloudflare, were also impacted by the security breach, which gave hackers access to some of their facilities. The hack also uncovered an incident in which eight hospital employees pinned a man to a bed in a Florida hospital.
In total, 222 of Tesla’s cameras were compromised around the company’s facilities.
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 subject of a number of hacking attempts in the past. Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, a Russian citizen accused of conspiring to hack the network of a US corporation and add malware to company networks, contacted a company employee in August 2020. A Giga Nevada employee was offered $1 million by Kriuchkov to install the malware, which would enable hackers to take over Tesla’s information security team. The scheme fell through when a Giga Nevada employee alerted the FBI, who arrested Kriuchkov on August 22, 2020.
It’s uncertain if the most recent security breach would result in criminal charges. Although Tesla was one of the targets of the attack, the security breach also impacted hospitals, prisons, schools, and police departments.