Hikvision Cybersecurity Director Offers Top Five Tips on How to Prevent Malware, Cyberattacks

July 25, 2018

Hikvision Cybersecurity Director Offers Top Five Tips on How to Prevent Malware, Cyberattacks Hikvision Cybersecurity Director Discusses Ways to Prevent Malware, Reduce System Vulnerabilities


Hikvision’s director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, offers insights into reducing vulnerabilities for one of today’s greatest cybersecurity threats, malicious software, commonly known as malware.

According to Davis, malware is one of the most often used components in cyberattacks. “Two of the most prevalent attack methods are, network scanning and phishing. A typical network scanning attack occurs when a system scans a network (frequently the Internet) looking for vulnerable systems. When it finds one, it will exploit the vulnerability and infect the system with malware. Often, the infected system will begin scanning and infecting systems as well.

The second popular attack method is phishing. This is tricking someone into installing malware on their system or divulging information such as login credentials, and then infecting a system. Once the system is infected, it can be used as part of a large botnet attack (using thousands of infected systems to attack an entity on the Internet), crypto-currency mining, or it can be used to pivot on that local network and find other systems to attack,” said Davis.

Top Five Tips to Prevent Malware Attacks
Here, Davis offers tips to reduce vulnerabilities and prevent malware attacks:

  1. Use firewalls and firebreaks (network segmentation): Place devices behind firewalls to protect them from untrusted networks, such as the Internet. And, use network segmentation—splitting a network into separate networks that are isolated, not connected—so a compromise in one part of the network won’t compromise the other (i.e. human resources and finance). This works much like a firebreak, which is a strip of land in a wooded area or forest where the trees have been removed to prevent a fire from spreading.
  2. Protect your computer from vulnerabilities: Clean up your computer by removing old software programs no longer in use, and make sure to install patches regularly. Updating firmware safeguards equipment by patching known vulnerabilities often adds features and sometimes will improve system performance. Hikvision provides firmware update information on its website.
  3. Reset default passwords and use complex passwords: Users should be required to change any default passwords to a strong password with at least eight characters, and at least one of each of the following: numbers, special characters, and uppercase and lowercase letters. Ideally, your password should be at least 12 characters and not used anywhere else. To manage all your complex, unique passwords, use a password manager. They not only store all your passwords but will help you create great passwords that you never have to remember.
  4. Manage your router: Earlier this year, the FBI recommended that everyone reboot all home routers and small office routers. In a previous blog on the subject, Davis stated that “rebooting will disable the active malware called “VPNFilter" which has infected hundreds of thousands of routers across the Internet, and it will help the FBI assess the extent of the infection.” While this was an isolated incident in time, it was a good example of why we need to actively manage and patch our routers Click here for more tips on how to set up your router.
  5. Run active scans and updates: When a computer notifies you of an available update, run it immediately. In addition, you can actively run malware and vulnerability scans for network devices. If you do get infected with malware, backup your data and re-install the operating system.

In a recent video interview with Campus Safety magazine from April 23, 2018, Davis discussed the Internet of Things (IoT) and risk of cybersecurity breaches: “Video surveillance systems … are actually computers. So we tend to forget that all of these devices that we’re connecting to our IP networks, [which are]  ... adding all this great functionality to allow us to remotely monitor or control them, are actually computers. They have operating systems and they will have vulnerabilities. And so if we don’t take our proper due diligence and protect those things and really apply cybersecurity best practices, we put them at risk of being attacked …”

For additional insights from Hikvision’s cybersecurity director on ways to reduce security concerns, eliminate vulnerabilities, and prevent malware attacks, click here.

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.

View the most updated version of this document here:
K-Series DVR upgrade instruction
The Turbo 4 Hybrid DVR K series has multiple models and across different platform and chipset. It also has similar firmware development of other recording product line; DVR K series has also introduced the GUI4.0 to ensure the series to be compatible to the newest technology available. The new database architecture is also brought into the DVR firmware v4.0 to be future proof and for better recording search experience. 

Database Optimization and Repair

As more affordable cameras 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 optimize. If you are experiencing issues, where playback is expected but not found, please make sure to perform "Database Rebuild" as indicated in the procedures and scenarios below.

Preparing the Upgrade

Before proceeding with upgrade, it is recommend exporting DVR configuration file from the DVR over the network or on to a local USB drive.


Action after firmware upgraded 

1. Upgrade the DVR according to the chart above. 

2. Reconfirming Channel's Recording Schedule 

    - Confirm channel's recording schedule is enable. 

    - Check if the channel is on correct recording schedule.

3. Double Check Storage Setting

    - Make sure all channel are assigned to record on its HDD group when the Storage setting is under Group Mode. 

4. Perform Database Rebuild locally. 

    • Some version above support Database Rebuild via web access - K51 and K72

    • Perform Database Rebuild regardless if system is having any database issue symptom. 

    • Database Rebuild process is average ~30 to 60min per TB. The process may still varies depends recording data.

    • After Database Rebuild - Check log to confirm Database Rebuild has went thru properly. 

    • If Database Rebuild Started and Stopped log has been log only within few minutes. Database rebuild may not has been completed properly. It is strongly recommend performing the Database Rebuild again.

    • To check log > System > Log > Information > Database Rebuild Started and Stopped.

    • If the log option is not available - access system via SSH can also obtain similar result.

5. Recording Data is still missing after database rebuild process. 

If the data has not been recorded or has been overwritten, Database rebuild process is not able retrieve those lost data. Have the system upgraded to the latest available firmware version above to prevent any future data lost is strongly recommended for all application.





In light of the global semiconductor shortage, Hikvision has made some hardware changes to the DS-76xxNI-Q1(2)/P NVRs, also known as “Q series.”


These changes do not have any effect on the performance, specifications, or the user interface of the NVRs. For the ease of reference, these modified units are known as “C-Version” units. This is clearly indicated on the NVR label and on the box by the serial number.


The only difference between the “C-Version” and “non-C-Version” is the firmware. The firmware is not interchangeable:


  • The C-Version NVRs must use firmware version v4.31.102 or higher.
  • The non-C-Version (Q series) NVRs must use firmware version v4.30.085 or older.


Please do not be alarmed if a “Firmware Mismatch” message pops up on the screen during the firmware upgrade. This simply means that the firmware does not match the NVR’s hardware. Simply download the correct firmware and the upgrade will go through without any issue.

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