Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity on the Rise in COVID-19 Phishing Attacks, Plus Cyber Tip of the Week

April 10, 2020

Hikvision HikWire blog article Chuck Davis cybersecurity

As COVID-19 becomes a global concern, cybercriminals are leveraging this tragedy to spread their own kind of virus to prey on the fears of people around the world. Hikvision’s senior director of cybersecurity Chuck Davis recently discussed phishing hacks and malware related to the coronavirus.

In this blog, Hikvision’s Davis covers a big uptick in coronavirus-related phishing scams in February, and offers a weekly tip to prevent becoming a victim of hacks and other cyberattacks.

Phishing Attacks Grow More Than 600 Percent in February
Barracuda Networks researchers have seen a steady increase in COVID-19 coronavirus-driven phishing attacks, and since the end of February 2020 they found a 667 percent rise in these attacks.

From the Barracuda blog: “Between March 1 and March 23, Barracuda Sentinel has detected 467,825 spear-phishing email attacks, and 9,116 of those detections were related to COVID-19, representing about 2 percent of attacks. In comparison, a total of 1,188 coronavirus-related spear-phishing attacks were detected in February, and just 137 were detected in January. Although the overall number of these attacks is still low compared to other threats, the threat is growing quickly.”

In addition to sharing some examples of the latest phishing attacks, Barracuda Networks also gave some recommendations to protect yourself from those attacks. Here are four tips from the article:

  1. Be wary of any emails attempting to get users to open attachments or click links. 
  2. Watch out for any communications claiming to be from sources that you normally would not receive emails from.
  3. Use caution with emails from organizations you regularly communicate with.
  4. Find credible charities and donate directly.

Hikvision HikWire blog article Chuck Davis cybersecurity


Hikvision Cyber Tip of the Week
While not everyone is into cybersecurity, Darknet Diaries is a podcast that everyone can enjoy. Podcasts have become an important part of many people’s lives. Increasing numbers of people enjoy tuning in to podcasts during a commute to work (back in the good ‘ole days) or when they’re going for a run, or just trying to mentally escape from the reality of staying at home all the time.

The podcast’s host, Jack Rhysider, is an experienced cybersecurity professional, but his humble approach to storytelling shines the spotlight on his guests, his riveting stories, and insights to stay on top of the latest cybersecurity trends. You don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert to listen to this podcast, but you may feel like one after you finish listening.

For more cybersecurity insights, click this link to read the Hikvision blog: “Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity on Using Zero Trust Network to Address 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.

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