Yes, we’re in shock as well.
Researchers from Check Point Software Technologies, one of the world’s cybersecurity leaders, have demonstrated that ransomware could also affect your smart DSLR at the recently concluded DEF CON Hacking Conference in Las Vegas.
First things first, what is ransomware and what does it do?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks your files and holds them hostage unless you pay up. Ransom prices vary and, thanks to the anonymity that cryptocurrencies utilize, bitcoins are usually the preferred type of payment that these attackers demand.
Now how could ransomware infect your camera?
According to an article by Gizmodo, Check Point has found out that a third-party firmware alternative for cameras is being used by attackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the camera through photo transfers using WiFi.
Don’t believe us? Check out the video below:
Did you watch the whole video? If so, you would have found out that the scariest bit about all this is that it doesn’t need you to click a sketchy link or install a nefarious file to get infected. Eyal Itkin, a security and vulnerability researcher from Check Point, notes that digital cameras equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth functionality are most vulnerable to these ransomware attacks because the attacker just needs to be connected to the same WiFi to be able to trick cameras into installing malware.
How could you avoid getting infected? Simple. Update your firmware.
Yep, we know. Who does that? Who has the time to update a smart camera’s firmware?
Much like computers and mobile phones, cameras also function using its own operating system. And again, much like computers and mobile phones, your camera’s operating system also needs to be updated from time to time or it would be vulnerable to different types of exploits and viruses.
Thankfully, Itkin has already notified the camera brand(s) involved about the vulnerabilities of outdated firmware. So if you have a smart camera - update them now!