Security Researchers Show Hackers Can Take Over Some Cameras With Ransomware

A group of security researchers has found that some cameras are vulnerable to ransomware attacks via Wi-Fi or hijacked computers (using the USB connection) that can render a camera and its photos entirely useless until a sum of money is paid to the hackers. 

Check Point Software Technologies has shown (as seen in the video above) that Canon DSLRs (it's not clear if other cameras are also affected) are susceptible to ransomware attacks, an increasingly common exploitation in which a hacker disables a device until the owner pays a ransom to regain control. As more and more electronics gain internet connectivity, these attacks are becoming more common, particularly since manufacturers typically don't put the same sort of effort into fortifying the network security of small electronics as they do into computers. Canon released a statement in which they offered some barebones tips to avoid being susceptible to these attacks and noted that there have been no known instances of such an attack occurring. They did not indicate whether they plan to fix the vulnerabilities through firmware updates, so it probably doesn't hurt to be a bit more careful to protect your photos. I certainly hope this doesn't become a problem for photographers in the future. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Anything can be hacked if you have the dedication, resources and time. Patching for this should be considered by all the manufacturers to make it more difficult since these kinds of gadgets are least considered in cybersec.

Welcome to 21st Century Camera Scams !!
The Manufacturers and Promoters are big on the Low iQ of the typical photographer.
So the hackers !!

They hacked my fridge and asked a ransom for my cheese!

I wanna take a bunch of pics of dogshit and wait for my camera to get hacked and tell the scammers to keep the shots...

Looks like Sony's mirrorless camera is better than the guys moms fridge after all.

You’re not allowed to say that BUT since it’s only been Canon cameras, they are allowed to just speculate all other brands “could” be hacked to save them from looking like another Canon bashing article - which all have been rightfully critical of their downright awful releases like the Canon RP (Royal Poop)

"photos entirely usage..."???? Useless?

auto-correct for the win !

Thanks for catching that!