'Will not impact the safety': Madison County sheriff responds to security camera hack

It was part of a global hack involving the company, Verkata.

Posted: Mar 10, 2021 6:18 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2021 7:06 PM

The Madison County Sheriff's Office says hackers got access to information and images not generally available to the public.

Unfortunately, there wasn't anything the Madison County Sheriff's Office could have done to prevent this cyber attack, because it wasn't the one who was hacked. Hackers got access to an elevated account from the company the sheriff's office contracted, which gave them access to the jail's security cameras.

"Security is never 100%. You are always going to be at risk one way or another," junior cyber security engineer at H2L Solutions Peyton Guy said. "This was totally a fumble on the Verkata company. This company did not have their account secure and they were a supplier to very major companies in the United States and internationally, as well."

Bloomberg reports a group of hackers were able to get access to live feeds of more than 150,000 Verkata surveillance cameras in hospitals, schools, companies, police departments and prisons.

WAAY 31 reached out to school districts in Madison County and Huntsville Hospital. They all said they were not impacted by this hack.

However, the Madison County Sheriff's Office says it just installed Verkata's camera system at their facility at the end of last year.

Officials said they weren't doing any on-camera interviews at this time but did release a statement saying: "We are confident that this unauthorized release did not and will not impact the safety of staff or inmates in the detention facility or the general public."

Bloomberg reports hackers were able to access live feeds and archived video in the jail. Some cases included audio of interviews between officers and criminal suspects.

Former U.S. Attorney Jay Town says he doesn't expect the hack to impact any future criminal trials, but it could put some long-term investigations at risk if officers were talking with a cooperator.

The sheriff's office says the security cameras are now offline, meaning they're no longer connected to the internet, and hackers can no longer access them. Officers are still using the cameras to monitor inmates from the jail's control room viewing stations.

"We will continue to focus our efforts on the safety and security of our community, which remains our first and foremost priority," Sheriff Kevin Turner said.

The sheriff's office says the hack did not impact any other system in the detention facility.

Guy says hacking in general is always a concern. He warns companies can say they're doing things to protect their information, and not do it. Guy says most people will have to compromise when it comes to contracting a security company.

"You're always going to be at risk in one way or another. It's always about compromise. It's how secure you want to be versus how usable do you want that system to be," Guy explained.

He adds the only way to make sure your system is completely secure is by creating your own security system and software.

There are other steps you can take to help protect your information online. That includes constantly updating your passwords and even considering adding a two-factor password safety feature.

Huntsville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 63°
Florence
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Fayetteville
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
Scottsboro
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 63°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 849978

Reported Deaths: 12217
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby952081613
Davidson89184932
Knox50513634
Hamilton44114491
Rutherford42950433
Williamson27935217
Sumner23921348
Montgomery20138225
Wilson18742233
Out of TN1833397
Unassigned16961134
Sullivan16691290
Blount15441193
Bradley14983149
Washington14535244
Maury13450171
Sevier13341175
Putnam11342174
Madison11132241
Robertson9737131
Anderson8750172
Hamblen8597173
Greene7840155
Tipton7317101
Coffee6894121
Dickson6827110
Cumberland6704128
Carter6595156
Gibson6514145
Bedford6500128
McMinn648998
Roane6267105
Jefferson6177124
Loudon610369
Hawkins6005107
Lawrence590186
Monroe582095
Warren554181
Dyer5416105
Franklin513890
Fayette503576
Cheatham454155
Obion453396
Cocke448699
Lincoln434563
Rhea434075
Marshall417858
Campbell415163
Weakley410164
Giles3992100
Henderson378476
White362469
Macon361578
Carroll361283
Hardin356967
Hardeman351064
Henry317476
Lauderdale317444
Claiborne317273
Marion312247
Scott311445
Overton300661
Wayne295935
Hickman283546
McNairy281054
DeKalb279254
Smith277139
Haywood270562
Grainger261950
Trousdale249922
Morgan249139
Fentress240947
Johnson238839
Chester213851
Bledsoe213011
Polk206224
Crockett202848
Unicoi202249
Cannon191731
Union190434
Grundy178934
Humphreys178726
Lake170226
Sequatchie169429
Benton165740
Decatur158439
Lewis158126
Meigs138325
Stewart132228
Jackson131935
Clay110131
Houston109133
Perry106228
Moore101017
Van Buren84623
Pickett75924
Hancock58812

Community Events