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Part 2, Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity on Protecting Your Home Network from Vulnerabilities

August 12, 2020

Hikvision HikWire blog article Chuck Davis cyber vulnerabilities part 2

Yesterday, Hikvision senior director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, covered some basics about cyber vulnerabilities, including what they are and why you should care.

As a quick recap, a vulnerability is a weakness in software that, when exploited, can give an attacker the means to do something malicious or unauthorized. You should care because there are generally three categories of software that the average person uses and each can have vulnerabilities. These include operating systems, software applications (apps), and firmware.

Continue reading to learn more about vulnerabilities, your home router, and how to boost cybersecurity.

Protecting Your Home Network from Vulnerabilities
In yesterday’s blog we referenced your network. You might not think about your home Internet connection as a “home network” but that’s what it is. In fact, your home network has probably grown a lot in the past few years.

There are generally six types of systems on a home network:

  1. Infrastructure devices: router, hub, switch, Wi-Fi repeaters/extenders
  2. Laptops and desktops
  3. Gaming systems (gaming PCs, Xbox, Playstation, etc.)
  4. Mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, wearables)
  5. Network-attached storage (NAS), printers and other output devices
  6. Internet of Things (IoT) devices: “Smart” devices like smart TVs, smart light bulbs, smart thermostats, smart doorbells

Just like your computers and mobile devices, these most certainly have vulnerabilities. Some have been discovered and patched, while others will be discovered in the future. Whether you know it or not, you are responsible for securing, patching and keeping all of these devices updated with the latest patches. This is a pretty easy job when it comes to your computers and mobile devices since they update automatically, but what you may not know is that many of the other devices on your network likely do not get automatic updates.

Now that you are aware of your job as a system and network administrator, let’s talk about how you manage that work. A good exercise is to count how many of these devices that you have in your home. Once you make that list, do some research to see which devices on your network get automatic updates. What’s left is a list of devices that you need to update manually.

The epicenter of your home network is your home router. It’s the device that connects to the Internet and also protects the devices in your home from regular attacks coming from the Internet. The router contains a lot of functionality:

  • Firewall: Protects your home network from constant attacks from the Internet
     
  • DHCP server: Assigns an IP address to each of the devices that connect to your network
     
  • NAT server: Acts on behalf of each device on your network to make requests to servers on the Internet. Then, when the reply comes back, it sends the reply to your device.
     
  • Your router also may include a time server, DNS relay, and maybe even a VPN server

Unlike your smartphone and personal computer, many home routers do not have the ability to receive automatic updates and patches for known vulnerabilities. It is certainly inconvenient that this is the one device that is protecting your home network from regular Internet attacks and the only way that it will be patched is if you, the owner, checks the website of the manufacturer of the router to see if there is an update. If so, you have to manually download and install that update. Did anyone tell you this? No, and as a result, there are countless numbers of vulnerable routers that are directly connected to the Internet and vulnerable to an attack. Check if your router updates automatically, if not, it’s probably time to get a new router.

Check back tomorrow when we’ll be discussing how vulnerabilities are part of our everyday lives, and other ways to protect yourself.

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.

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