In one video, a woman in a hospital room watches over someone sleeping in an intensive-care-unit bed. In another, a man and three children celebrate one Sunday afternoon over a completed puzzle in a carpeted playroom.
The private moments would have, in some other time, been constrained to memory. But something else had been watching: an internet-connected camera managed by the San Mateo, Calif.-based security start-up Verkada, which sells cameras and software that customers can use to watch live video from anywhere across the Web.
With a single breach, those scenes – and glimpses from more than 149,000 security cameras – were suddenly revealed to hackers, who had used high-level log-in credentials to access and plunder Verkada’s vast camera network.
A hacker shared some of the materials with The Washington Post to spotlight the security threat of widespread surveillance technologies that subject the public to near-constant watch.
The cache includes real-world images and videos as well as the company’s voluminous client list, which names more than 24,000 organizations across a vast cross-section of American life, including schools, offices, gyms, banks, health clinics and county jails.
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