Cyber Awareness: Types of Cybercriminals & Hacking Methods in 2021

February 19, 2021

Hikvision HikWire blog article Cyber Awareness: Types of Cybercriminals & Hacking Methods in 2021

Hikvision on Threat Actors, Security Concerns & Vulnerabilities


The article, “7 cyber threat actors to watch for in 2021,” looks at types of cybercriminals, hacking methods taken and security concerns they are generating.

From the article: “Make no mistake: cybercrime is on a seemingly unstoppable rise. Massive data breaches are becoming more and more commonplace, and everyone from independent businesses to government agencies are being increasingly targeted. With over $6 trillion in damages committed by cybercriminals thus far, it has never been more important to glean insight into the types of threat actors out there, and those who will pose a threat in the coming year says Cybersecurity Ventures.”

The article’s author outlines several types of threat actors and their preferred hacking methods. These include:

  • Organized criminal gangs whose primary motive is financial gain and primary method of attack is ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware that quietly encrypts all the files and folders on your computer and then uploads the decryption key to the threat actor who tricked you into installing the ransomware. To get the key to decrypt your files, you must pay a ransom to the threat actor.
  • Cyber threat actors will target insider threats and disgruntled employees since the workforce has access to privileged information within an organization.
  • Script Kiddies will target vulnerabilities in computer systems. Script Kiddies are described in the article as “threat actors without the skill or knowledge required to design bespoke penetration tools, and yet will happily purchase or borrow the tools of other attackers in order to infiltrate systems.”

Learn more about threat actors and security concerns in this Hikvision blog: “Cyber Vulnerability 3-Part Blog Series: Hikvision’s Senior Director of Cybersecurity On Vulnerabilities, Automatic Software Updates, and Your Home Network.”

IMPORTANT! This model requires non-standard firmware. Do Not Install standard firmware (e.g. v.4.1.xx) on this model. Doing so will permanently damage your system. You must use custom firmware v.4.1.25 from the iDS-9632NXI-I8/16S product page.

View the most updated version of this document here:


The I-series NVR (such as the DS-7716NI-I4) is one of Hikvision's most popular and feature-rich recorders. As such, many firmware revisions have been introduced over the years to continually ensure the product is compatible with the newest technology available. Due to the many revisions, we recommend that the user closely follows the instructions below in order to reduce the amount of time spent as well as the chance of failure.


Database Optimization and Repair

As more affordable IP cameras are introduced over time with greater video resolution and data sizes, more efficient database management also becomes necessary. The introduction of firmware v4.0 brought about a new database architecture in order to be futureproof.


After upgrading to v4.X, the recorder database will need to be converted and optimized. If you are experiencing issues where playback is expected but not found, make sure "Database Repair" is performed as indicated in the procedures and scenarios below.


Preparing the Upgrade

Before proceeding with upgrade, it is recommended that NVR configuration file is exported from the NVR over the network or on to a local USB drive.


Upgrading from v3.4.92 build 170518 or Older

  1. All recorders must reach v3.4.92 before proceeding further. Upgrading from versions before v3.4.92 directly to any version of v4.X will likely cause the recorder to fail.
  2. If the recorder is already at v3.4.92, a full factory default is highly recommended before upgrading to any version of v4.X. There is a high chance of unit failure (requiring RMA) if the unit is not defaulted before upgrade.
  3. After reaching v3.4.92 and performing a full factory default, an upgrade directly to v4.50.00 is acceptable.
  4. After the upgrade is completed and the recorder is reprogrammed, it may be beneficial to perform a Database Repair. For details, refer to the section "Database Optimization and Repair" above.
  5. To verify repair progress, you may refer to the HDD status, or search the recorder log for repair started and stopped entries. Note that while the HDD is repairing, new recordings are still being made, but some existing recordings may not be searchable until repair is complete.
  6. If you continue to observe playback issues after database repair, ensure there are no power, network, or motion detection issues. Should the problem persist, contact technical support.


Upgrading from Any v4.X Build to v4.50.00.

  1. Any v4.X build can be upgraded directly to v4.50.00.
  2. Export configuration is highly recommended before performing the upgrade.
  3. If upgrading from any v4.X version that was not v4.22.005, a Database Repair is recommended. Refer to Step 4 and onwards in the previous section.



Downgrading is not recommended. Due to new features and parameters constantly being added, downgrading may cause the NVR to factory default itself or require a manual default to operate properly.

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