First of all, don't connect to Wi-Fi networks or desktops that you don't know, disable the networking functionality when you're not using it, and make sure to upgrade the firmware on your camera as soon as possible. "The photos could end up being held hostage until the user pays the ransom for them to be released", Eyal Itkin, security researcher at Check Point, said in a press statement.
It has been found that hacking attacks can be done directly on the camera remotely or via the existing USB connection in the camera to the computer. Security researchers have now warned that even DSLR cameras are not immune to ransomware and malware attacks.
Since modern cameras no longer use film to capture and reproduce images, the International Imaging Industry Association devised a standardised protocol known as Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) to transfer digital images from camera to PC.
As Check Point Research reveals, digital cameras are a great choice for ransomware as they typically contain photos that are of high value to the owner.
For the experiment, Checkpoint focused on the Canon E0S 80D and used exploits over Wi-Fi to encrypt the images on the SD card, so that a user wouldn't be able to access them. "Attackers can inject ransomware into both the camera and PC", Itkin added.
While vulnerabilities relating to this feature have been pointed out in the past, Check Point wanted to see if it was possible to find implementation vulnerabilities in the protocol that would allow researchers to take over a camera and infect it with ransomware (although, the cybersecurity company noted that there are many other ways an attacker could take advantage of that type of vulnerability).
As more and more devices grow dependent on the internet connectivity to function, the threat of cyberattacks grow with it.
Turn off the camera's WiFi when not in use. A firmware update is already available to Canon users.
The vulnerability was brought to Canon's attention in March 2018 and was confirmed by the camera company in May 2019 and a patch was released in August.
"Now that we are aware of this vulnerability, we will ensure it is corrected in future products that we develop", a Canon spokesperson told ZDNet.
The folks at Check Point Software Technologies where the ones to discover this and they have issued a report that details all the steps that bad actors can take in order to take over a DSLR camera.
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