How to Spot Vulnerabilities Related to Targeted Phishing Attacks

January 28, 2021

Hikvision HikWire blog article How to Spot Vulnerabilities Related to Targeted Phishing Attacks

Hikvision on 3 Tips to Avoid Security Concerns from Spear Phishing


Cybercriminals continue to find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, and targeted phishing is the subject of the Security magazine story, “The art of targeted phishing: How not to get hooked.”

What is phishing? 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.

Targeted phishing attacks direct efforts toward a particular group of people, using social engineering to attempt to get these individuals to divulge sensitive information. By using information from social media or other sources, the targeted phishing emails appear to be familiar or credible. Spear phishing is a type of targeted phishing attack that is focused on a specific person or organization.

From the article: “Not only do targeted attacks make it easier to tailor a lure for victims and make it look more authentic and convincing, but they can also home in on higher-value targets. With spear phishing, attackers can focus on compromising specific business-critical machines or gaining access to higher value business accounts that will score the criminal a larger payday at the end of the attack.”

Hikvision covered spear phishing, and ways to avoid the security concern in this blog: “Part Two: An Overview of Spear Phishing Hacks by Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity.” Below are three tips to help you prevent becoming a victim of spear phishing. Read the entire article for a full list of recommendations.  

  • Never reuse passwords. If you have reused passwords, take time to change them now, before it’s too late. Threat actors buy up username/password lists and start trying to login with the username and password on other sites, like Twitter, Facebook, and Spotify.
  • Use two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) everywhere possible.
  • Use a password manager. This will allow you to make great passwords (20 plus characters) that are unique for every website. And you won’t need to remember any of them.

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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