Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity on Recent Coronavirus-Related Malware and Phishing Attacks, Plus Password Manager Tip

March 26, 2020

Hikvision HikWire blog article Chuck Davis COVID-19 Malware

In a previous blog, Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity Chuck Davis discussed phishing hacks and malware related to the coronavirus, and tips to avoid them.

In this blog, Davis provides an update on recent malware and phishing attacks related to COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 coronavirus becomes a global concern, cybercriminals are leveraging this tragedy to spread their own kind of virus and digital attacks to prey on the fears of people around the world.

Recently in Coronavirus-Related Malware and Phishing Attacks
Recently, there were more COVID-19 malware and phishing attacks, a cyberattack against the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, a new and growing botnet that recruits IoT devices, credit card skimming on websites, and a security firm re-breaches over 5 billion records. Here’s a summary of some recent cyberattacks:

  • Malware: A malicious app that supposedly tracks coronavirus victims, is actually demanding ransom payment from Android users, according to
  • Cyberattack: Covered in the Bloomberg News article, “Cyberattack Hits U.S. Health Agency Amid Covid-19 Outbreak. “We are aware of a cyber-incident related to the Health and Human Services computer networks, and the federal government is investigating this incident thoroughly,” John Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, in the article.  
  • More Patches: Adobe Releases Critical Patches for Acrobat Reader, Photoshop, Bridge, ColdFusion, according to “This week, Adobe released a massive batch of out-of-band software updates for six of its products to patch a total of 41 new security vulnerabilities. This is in addition to the 170+ patches released by Microsoft last week,” said the article.
  • Botnet: Via “Zxyel Flaw Powers New Mirai IoT Botnet Strain.” From the article: “In February 2020, Zyxel fixed a zero-day vulnerability in its routers and VPN firewall products. This week, security researchers said they spotted that vulnerability being exploited by a new variant of Mirai, a malware strain that targets vulnerable Internet of Things (IoT) devices for use in botnet attacks.”
  • Credit Card Skimming: Cybersecurity and anti-virus software company, Bitdefender, covered recent card skimming in this article: “More Business Websites Hit by Credit Card Skimming Malware.”
  • Data [Re]Breach: A security firm leaves a massive database, containing more than five billion data breach records, without any password protection on the internet. The records were taken from past security breaches between 2012 and 2019, reports Graham Cluley.

Tip to Avoid Coronavirus Cyberattacks: Use a Password Manager
The password is something we all love to hate. Many of us have to create hundreds of passwords and we are told by the paranoid cybersecurity experts to make them long and use all of the character sets on your keyboard so that your password is not easy to guess. This also makes passwords difficult to remember, so what do most people do? They re-use passwords—which is also a big no-no.

While we all know these general rules, most people don’t know why they exist and subsequently, do not follow the advice of the crazy cybersecurity wonks.

So how you can achieve this and actually make your digital life more secure and much easier? Enter the Password Manager!

A Password Manager is a software tool that is used to store all of your passwords in an encrypted file(s) so that you have very easy access to them, but nobody else can get to them. Most modern password managers have additional features such as cloud storage, auto-filling fields and password generators that make very good passwords.

The password manager is installed on your computer and/or mobile device and it allows you to have huge passwords (most of mine are over 60 characters in length) and you never need to know, or see, or type any of them. Brilliant!

Read this Hikvision article to learn more about Password Managers as an effective tool to reduce malware, hacks and other security concerns.

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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