Hackers Target Small Business Vulnerabilities as Phishing Attacks Abound

March 26, 2021

Hikvision HikWire blog article Hackers Target Small Business Vulnerabilities as Phishing Attacks Abound

Hikvision on Social Engineering Tactics & Vulnerabilities


Phishing attacks grew 600 percent since February 2020 and small business vulnerabilities have made them a target of attackers. As small businesses are exposed to greater risk, they are focusing on cybersecurity. Security magazine covered this trend in the article, “The integration of small business cybersecurity protection and cyber insurance: An emerging trend in 2021.”

From the article: “Now more than ever before, the small business sector is beginning to prioritize cybersecurity and cyber liability insurance to mitigate potential crippling financial risk, which is setting the stage for a major trend moving forward: the merging of cybersecurity technology and insurance to mitigate insurer’s risk and provide the best overall coverage for small businesses.”

Cyberattacks are having a big financial impact on small businesses. Social engineering methods are being deployed, especially phishing and spear phishing, which mimic a valid email in an attempt to trick an employee into divulging sensitive information.

In a Hikvision blog about social engineering, social engineering is explained, including what this tactic is and how it exploits vulnerabilities:

“Most cybercrime techniques revolve around finding and exploiting weak points in a company’s digital infrastructure. Social engineering is different in that it targets employees, not the network itself. Since worker mistakes and misbehavior are the leading cause of data breaches, this method can be painfully effective. Social engineering attacks are typically more psychological than they are technological. Instead of using sophisticated hacking techniques or in-depth knowledge of computers, they rely on tricking people into giving away information.”

A key takeaway from the Security magazine story is that small businesses are implementing cybersecurity insurance in conjunction with cybersecurity policies. Also, by familiarizing themselves with exclusions and dependencies of a cyber-insurance policy, business owners can ensure that they take action to implement cybersecurity technologies and policies that maximize their likelihood of receiving an insurance payment in the case of a security breach or other incident.

Learn more about vulnerabilities in this Hikvision article: “Part 1, Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity on Vulnerabilities: What are Cyber Vulnerabilities?

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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