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.

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