DSLR cameras found to be vulnerable to ransomware attack over Wi-Fi and USB: Report

Hackers could easily transfer malware on the camera using the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), which is unauthenticated


There's a brand new category of devices that could be vulnerable to a ransomware attack: DSLR Cameras.

In the latest report from Check Point Software Technologies, security researchers were able to install malware remotely on a Canon EOS 80D DSLR camera which encrypted the photos stored on the camera's SD card. According to researcher Eyal Itkin, hackers could easily transfer malware on the camera using the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), which is unauthenticated and can be used to insert malware either over the air (Wi-Fi) or using the USB port.

DSLR cameras found to be vulnerable to ransomware attack over Wi-Fi and USB: Report

Canon 80D

PTP was initially only meant to transfer images, but can now be used for many things such as taking live photographs, upgrading camera firmware, among other things.

New camera models supporting Wi-Fi let you transfer images over Wi-Fi. This wasn't the case earlier when you had to either transfer images from your SD card using a card reader or connect your camera to your PC using a USB port. Wi-Fi makes the cameras ripe for the taking for attackers with malicious intent. Imagine you are on a holiday and have many GBs worth of photos stored on your SD card. A hacker can remotely encrypt your SD Card and you won't be able to access the photos unless you pay the hacker.

Here's how you can avoid your camera from being a victim:

  • Make sure your camera is using the latest firmware version, and install a patch if available. Canon has released one.
  • Turn off the camera's Wi-Fi when not in use.
  • When using Wi-Fi, prefer using the camera as the Wi-Fi access point, rather than connecting your camera to a public Wi-Fi network.