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NHS CCTV cameras associated with worldwide hack

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NHS CCTV cameras have reportedly been embroiled in a hack affecting security footage across the globe, after security company Verkada is understood to have been breached by hackers. It is said that live streams for as many as 150,000 Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras may have been viewed by unauthorised users.

Serving organisations include prisons, general businesses, schools and even psychiatric hospitals. The breach of Verkada’s cameras may have exposed the identities of many people working in, living in, or visiting affected institutions.

It is unclear exactly which feeds hackers may have viewed and what they gleaned from the footage, but it is nevertheless worrying to learn that a security firm has been subjected to such a wide-reaching breach. There is currently no evidence that any NHS camera feeds were viewed by hackers, but Verkada lists the NHS as one of its clients on the company website. Hackers have also claimed that they have been able to access the cameras of any of the affected organisations.

Hack leaves NHS CCTV cameras compromised

Verkada provides security cameras to companies across the globe, including public organisations as well as private businesses. The security company were said to be “investigating the scale and scope of this issue”, but there have already been allegations about which video feeds were accessed.

Reporters from Bloomberg are understood to have seen footage from within a hospital in Florida that reportedly shows a scene in which workers appeared to tackle someone and push them down onto a bed. Other excerpts of Verkada’s CCTV footage reportedly include a video of Massachusetts police officers questioning a handcuffed man, and a video of a Tesla production line in Shanghai.

As it stands, no footage from NHS CCTV cameras has been released.

The methods and motives behind the hack

It is understood that the hackers were able to breach Verkada’s systems via a “super admin” account, allowing them to gain access to footage using a relatively basic method.

Hackers involved in the Verkada breach are understood to have spoken to media outlets and claimed that the hack was motivated by “curiosity” and “fun”.

In a statement, a Verkada spokesperson said that administrator accounts had been deactivated to stop further unauthorised access by external users. The company asserted that the incident was being investigated, and said that law enforcement had been notified. Verkada has not commented on the possibility that NHS CCTV cameras were hacked as far as we understand.

NHS data breaches

The NHS has been linked to cyberattacks on many occasions. Like the Verkada attack, the WannaCry ransomware attack which hit the NHS in 2017 also had a global reach.

Although it has not been confirmed that NHS CCTV cameras were compromised, the Verkada hack demonstrates yet another route via which patient security could be put at risk and medical data can be breached. When the privacy of patients is breached, it can be possible to make an NHS data breach claim.

Anyone who has been affected by a data security incident within the NHS can contact us for free, no-obligation advice on their potential compensation claim.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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