Sci-tech

Even DSLR cameras are vulnerable to ransomware

Even DSLR cameras are vulnerable to ransomware”

Containing sensitive content with highly personal and emotional value, digital cameras are a lucrative target for malicious hackers who successfully identify vulnerabilities and can even demand a ransom to release picture files.

As demonstrated in a video using a Canon 80D DSLR with Wi-Fi turned on, the researchers were able to install ransomware directly onto the camera.

By exploiting security vulnerabilities in popular internet-connected digital DSLR cameras, hackers could infect them with ransomware to render the devices useless or to deploy other types of malware on larger networks according to new research from Check Point Software. The report attributes the threat to Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) used to transfer digital images from camera to PC.

It's possible to execute the attack through physical access to the camera via USB, but also remotely via Wi-Fi if the camera's user could be tricked into connecting to a rogue wireless network. Imagine you are on a holiday and have many GBs worth of photos stored on your SD card. Though Check Point's research only examined the flaw in Canon cameras, cameras from other manufacturers could be affected as well.

The latest models of digital cameras are increasingly vulnerable to ransomware and malware attacks through their USB and WiFi connectivity, researchers at leading Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point Software Technologies revealed on Sunday.

"As PTP is widely used by all digital camera vendors, we do believe that similar vulnerabilities will affect other vendors as well", Itkin said. "Cameras are no longer just connected via USB, but to WiFi networks and their surrounding environment". As such, we recommend visiting the support section of the website for your camera to see if a firmware update is available. "The photos could end up being held hostage until the user pays the ransom for them to be released".

Check Point researchers informed Canon about the vulnerabilities and the companies worked together to patch them. Canon has since issued a new security patch for the affected cameras, which owners can read about here.

"At this point, there have been no confirmed cases of these vulnerabilities being exploited to cause harm, but in order to ensure that our customers can use our products securely, we would like to inform you of the following workarounds for this issue".

Full technical details of the investigation can be found on the Check Point website.



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