Security Concerns & Vulnerability Exploits Proliferate as Hackers Focus on Remote Workers

January 18, 2021

Hikvision HikWire blog article Security Concerns & Vulnerability Exploits Proliferate

Hikvision Covers Pandemic-Driven Cyber Threats, Vulnerability Exploits


Cybercrime has grown as the pandemic shifted many employees to a work from home model and threat actors have directed their focus toward exploiting related vulnerabilities. In April 2020, Google blocked “18 million phishing attempts” every day for a week. In the article, “Hackers go phishing for remote workers during pandemic,” industry publication (SIW) covered this escalating security concern for employees and organizations.

Hikvision senior director of cybersecurity Chuck Davis covered the cyber threat uptick in this March 2020 blog. At that time, phishing campaigns were already beginning to proliferate, preying on pandemic-related fears.

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. Around since at least 1995, phishing is used to trick people into providing credit card information, login IDs and passwords, and to gain access to your computer, protected systems and/or networks.

By learning to identify phishing emails, employees are less likely to divulge sensitive information or click on malicious links in emails. Read this primer on phishing to improve your skillset, and reduce the risk of downloading malware by clicking on suspicious links: “Part One: An Overview of Phishing Hacks by Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity.”


Growth in Cyberattacks
The SIW article noted a 300 percent increase in cyberattacks since the pandemic began. And employees working from home are balancing a new mix of demands that include home schooling children, among other requirements that add a new level of pressure for workers.

From the article: “Further exploiting the chaos and uncertainty of COVID-19, bad actors convincingly spoofed large, international organizations and websites, like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), to smaller, local, and regional health reports.”

Employee vulnerabilities are reflected in these statistics:

  • 38 percent of untrained employees fail phishing tests.
  • Only 35 percent click on malicious links, but 65 percent will click to open an attachment.
  • If an email appears to come from an identifiable internal account, click rates increase to 90 percent.

Cybersecurity training programs should be adapted to help change behavior so employees, and their employers, are less vulnerable. The article recommends microlearning, which is small doses of cyber training done over periods of time to change behavior.

Read the full story at this link.

Cybersecurity Resources from Hikvision
For additional insights into pandemic-fueled cyber threats and education resources on cybersecurity, read the Hikvision blog series about COVID-19 hacks, phishing and cyberattacks. And, for practical tips to work securely from home, check out Hikvision’s work from home blog series with recommendations for VPN security and updating firmware on your home router. Applying these tips can help employees reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities when working remotely.

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.

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.





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