US charges Swiss resident who claimed responsibility for hack on hospitals' security cameras

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A computer hacker, who claims to have broken into Verkada's security camera database and exposed U.S. hospitals' footage, was recently indicted on charges related to computer intrusion and identity and data theft activities spanning from 2019 to the present, the Department of Justice said March 18. 

Swiss authorities raided the apartment of Tillie Kottmann in Lucerne, Switzerland, after the hacker claimed credit for breaching San Mateo, Calif.-based security camera company Verkada, accessing its live feeds of 150,000 surveillance cameras from hospitals including Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Halifax Health, Texarkana, Texas-based Wadley Regional Medical Center and Tempe (Ariz.) St. Luke's Hospital. 

The indictment alleges that Tillie Kottmann used various hacking techniques and targeted source code repositories belonging to both private companies and public sector organizations. Tillie Kottmann then cloned the source code, files and other confidential information to infiltrate more victims' systems and published stolen data online. 

The FBI recently seized Tillie Kottmann's website used to publish the hacked data; Tillie Kottmann also actively communicated with journalists and over social media about computer intrusions and data theft to grow their schemes and recruit others to join, according to the Department of Justice news release. 

Earlier this month, Tillie Kottmann told Bloomberg they hacked Verkada because they were inspired by "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."

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