BLUF

Article details recent hacks of Australian surveillance cameras and notes that cyber-security is just as important regarding surveillance cameras as it is for any other part of a computer-based system.

Summary

In a protest about the widespread use of facial recognition software, activist hackers (see hacktivism) gained access to about 150,000 Verkada cameras in use worldwide. Around 100 Australian organisations have been affected. These include the following areas:
  • Schools and universities.
  • An aged care provider.
  • A department store.
  • A duty-free store.
  • Local government.
  • A public transport agency.
In the US, activist hackers accessed;
  • Women's health clinics.
  • Psychiatric hospitals,
  • Prisons and police stations
  • Gyms 
Camera-based surveillance software can identify individuals by the presence of backpacks, gender, clothes, ethnicity etc. See The fundamentals of facial recognition. Hackers claimed to have simply gained access to a super admin account. The cameras are worth hacking because they are so widespread. Worth considering whether any individual admin account should have unrestricted access to the whole of any computer system. However, it is also worth considering how to improve security while at the same time allowing information to be shared internally.