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Hikvision’s Director of Cybersecurity Outlines Examples of Phishing

August 3, 2018

Common Malware Attacks Using Email Phishing

Common Malware Attacks Using Email Phishing

Hikvision’s director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, together with the Hikvision Security Lab at Hikvision headquarters, is leading the cybersecurity program for Hikvision North America, overseeing all internal and external cybersecurity initiatives and programs in the region. Below he provides an overview of phishing, a common cyber threat, including examples and a link to recommendations to prevent malware attacks.

Phishing attacks have long been an effective way for attackers to trick people into divulging sensitive information or infecting a system with malware. Malware can give an attacker remote access to protected systems and networks, encrypt a user’s data and charge a ransom to decrypt the data, or use that system as part of an attack against other systems.

In March of 2017, Google stated that its machine learning models now can detect and stop spam and phishing with 99.9 percent accuracy. However, this is a cat and mouse game that has been played for years by the spammers/phishers on one side, and the spam filter developers on the other side. Once the defenses get better against the latest spam attack methods, the spammers change their tactics to bypass the filters.

Examples of Phishing With Email Spam
Here is an example of a fairly obvious spam email that Google’s filter caught and placed in the spam folder of a Gmail account. There is no subject line; there is just a link. When Google discovers rogue links, the red box shown in the email below serves as a warning to not click on links or reply with personal information.

Hikvision Cybersecurity Phishing Article - 1

While most of the spam email that is sent to you will never reach your inbox, the ones that do, are getting much more difficult to detect.

The following is an example of a phishing email that made it through spam filters back in 2012, one of the first phishing emails Davis received that he felt was very effective. This attack attempted to steal login credentials for the recipient's Comcast account.

Phishing Email Example Number Two
The following email appears to come from “Customer Central,” an email address using the domain name, “comcast.com.” Of course, this was spoofed. The "from" field cannot be trusted in this case, and is not actually showing you the source of the email.

By masking the full destination email address, the email also creates heightened security concerns. In the image below, it appears the email was sent to “pllpt.” This is grayed out and in small text. While that could be a mailing list, one would expect something different if it was sent directly from Comcast.

Hikvision Cybersecurity Phishing Article - 2

The email indicates that the customer’s credit card information on file has declined the payment, and the email requests that the recipient update his or her credit card information by clicking on the link.

A quick or casual review of this link may seem safe. The URL begins with, account.comcast.com.

But when one looks at the rest of the URL we see something out of the ordinary: account.comcast.com.5he.biz/

The last two sections before the forward slash (/) indicate the domain name of the destination. In this case, the domain name is actually 5he.biz. The “account.comcast.com” is all subdomains of 5he.biz.

Interestingly, the author of this phishing email did not try to mask the actual link, which is easy to do and might be a little more effective in tricking someone to click on it.

Davis recommends individuals filter spam emails and be cautious about unsolicited emails with links in them. When in doubt, copy and paste the URL into a preview site like richpreview.com or for short URLs, paste them into a site like checkshorturl.com to see the full URL and preview the site.

For more examples of malware attacks using phishing and tips to reduce security risk, visit this link. For more cybersecurity tips from Davis, click here.

Now you know how to better identify and scrutinize a link before clicking on it. Part two of this blog will show what happens when you click on the link in the above example. We will also show some advanced phishing tactics that are not well known, and show examples of how hovering over a link is not always a successful way to preview the URL.

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:

https://techsupportca.freshdesk.com/en/support/solutions/articles/17000113531-i-series-nvr-firmware-upgrade-instructions

 

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

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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