Part 3, Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity on How Cyber Vulnerabilities Impact Our Everyday Lives

August 13, 2020

Hikvision HikWire blog article Chuck Davis cyber vulnerabilities part 3

Yesterday, Hikvision senior director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, covered vulnerabilities in home routers. The day before, Davis discussed the basics of vulnerabilities and why you should care about them.

In today’s blog, we’ll talk about how vulnerabilities impact our everyday lives, and how you can boost your cybersecurity efforts.

How Common Are Vulnerabilities?
Most people don’t hear about vulnerabilities on a daily basis but when a story about a vulnerability in software hits the news, the public outcry is often to stop using that software. In many cases, this is an overreaction. Vulnerabilities are a part of all of our lives whether we know it or not. We are all using unpatched, vulnerable computers. It’s just not part of our daily concerns, and it shouldn’t be. However, we need to be aware that vulnerabilities exist in all computers and take defensive action.

Physically, our cars have a lot of vulnerabilities. The windows, for example, are easy to break which allows someone to gain entry without a key. This can be used for bad, to steal things from your car, or steal the car itself. It can also be used for good, to save a pet or child who is locked in the car on a hot day. We all know about this vulnerability and we take defensive action, such as parking the car in a garage, or installing an alarm, or just keeping our belongings out of site if the car is parked in public.

Now back to computers. All computers have vulnerabilities. With very few exceptions, this is a reasonable assumption. Additionally, all IoT devices are computers so all IoT devices have vulnerabilities. Since we now know that your router is protecting your home network, and all the devices on that network, from attacks, let’s see how frequent those attacks are.

Hikvision’s Davis installed a consumer-grade intrusion prevention system (IPS) outside of his home firewall to not only block malicious attacks, but also to get reporting details on them. You can see in the screenshot below that over a 24-hour period, his consumer-grade home network was attacked 3,552 times. That is 148 attacks per hour or almost 2.5 attacks per minute. Your home network is likely under the same level of attack.

Hikvision HikWire blog article Chuck Davis cyber vulnerabilities 3 image 1

The good news is that your router is great at stopping these attacks. The bad news is that if your router has a known, unpatched vulnerability, attackers will eventually find and attack your router which could give them access to your home network.

Read this Hikvision article to learn more about protecting your home router: “Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity on Security Concerns with Home Router Vulnerability, 3 Tips to Improve Home Router Security.”

Take a look at the companies who make the operating systems for your PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, and almost all of your IoT devices (which probably run some version of Linux), and the servers that run almost all of our cloud systems (also Linux). They are all listed in the top 10 vendors with the most vulnerabilities, as shown in the picture below. Now keep in mind, all or almost all of these vulnerabilities have been patched. The point is that every month, we get patches for all of these systems because every month, new vulnerabilities are discovered.

Hikvision HikWire blog article Chuck Davis cyber vulnerabilities 3 image 2

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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