Social Engineering Targets Employee Vulnerabilities

January 14, 2021

Hikvision HikWire blog article Social Engineering Targets Employee Vulnerabilities

Hikvision on Learning to Identify Phishing Attacks, Reduce Risk and Security Concerns


Social engineering is a trending cyber threat that targets employees, seeking to exploit vulnerabilities. This method is covered in the (SIW) story, “Social engineering cyberattacks and how they’re impacting businesses.”

Cybercriminals target employees to exploit company data with social engineering. It doesn’t require a sophisticated understanding of an organization’s IT infrastructure or network.

From the article: “Most cybercrime techniques revolve around finding and exploiting weak points in a company’s digital infrastructure. Social engineering is different in that it targets employees, not the network itself. Since worker mistakes and misbehavior are the leading cause of data breaches, this method can be painfully effective. Social engineering attacks are typically more psychological than they are technological. Instead of using sophisticated hacking techniques or in-depth knowledge of computers, they rely on tricking people into giving away information.”

Social engineering is directly impacting businesses in several ways:

  • In 2019, cybercriminals stole $1.7 billion through business email compromise (BEC), a type of phishing attack that aims to trick the victim into sending money to the attacker. Read more about BEC in this Hikvision blog.
  • Each successful social engineering attack costs organizations an average of $130,000.
  • Many of these attacks target customers by using phishing attacks to install malware.

Phishing is a subset of social engineering accounting for 25 percent of 2019 security breaches, according to the SIW article. Learning to identify phishing attacks can empower employees to know when an email is a threat, helping to reduce security concerns. Read this Hikvision blog to learn more about phishing and identify basic and advanced phishing attacks: “Hikvision Senior Director of Cybersecurity: Identifying Phishing Attacks, Three Advanced Phishing Tactics Explained.”

IMPORTANT! This model requires non-standard firmware. Do Not Install standard firmware (e.g. v.4.1.xx) on this model. Doing so will permanently damage your system. You must use custom firmware v.4.1.25 from the iDS-9632NXI-I8/16S product page.

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The I-series NVR (such as the DS-7716NI-I4) is one of Hikvision's most popular and feature-rich recorders. As such, many firmware revisions have been introduced over the years to continually ensure the product is compatible with the newest technology available. Due to the many revisions, we recommend that the user closely follows the instructions below in order to reduce the amount of time spent as well as the chance of failure.


Database Optimization and Repair

As more affordable IP cameras are introduced over time with greater video resolution and data sizes, more efficient database management also becomes necessary. The introduction of firmware v4.0 brought about a new database architecture in order to be futureproof.


After upgrading to v4.X, the recorder database will need to be converted and optimized. If you are experiencing issues where playback is expected but not found, make sure "Database Repair" is performed as indicated in the procedures and scenarios below.


Preparing the Upgrade

Before proceeding with upgrade, it is recommended that NVR configuration file is exported from the NVR over the network or on to a local USB drive.


Upgrading from v3.4.92 build 170518 or Older

  1. All recorders must reach v3.4.92 before proceeding further. Upgrading from versions before v3.4.92 directly to any version of v4.X will likely cause the recorder to fail.
  2. If the recorder is already at v3.4.92, a full factory default is highly recommended before upgrading to any version of v4.X. There is a high chance of unit failure (requiring RMA) if the unit is not defaulted before upgrade.
  3. After reaching v3.4.92 and performing a full factory default, an upgrade directly to v4.50.00 is acceptable.
  4. After the upgrade is completed and the recorder is reprogrammed, it may be beneficial to perform a Database Repair. For details, refer to the section "Database Optimization and Repair" above.
  5. To verify repair progress, you may refer to the HDD status, or search the recorder log for repair started and stopped entries. Note that while the HDD is repairing, new recordings are still being made, but some existing recordings may not be searchable until repair is complete.
  6. If you continue to observe playback issues after database repair, ensure there are no power, network, or motion detection issues. Should the problem persist, contact technical support.


Upgrading from Any v4.X Build to v4.50.00.

  1. Any v4.X build can be upgraded directly to v4.50.00.
  2. Export configuration is highly recommended before performing the upgrade.
  3. If upgrading from any v4.X version that was not v4.22.005, a Database Repair is recommended. Refer to Step 4 and onwards in the previous section.



Downgrading is not recommended. Due to new features and parameters constantly being added, downgrading may cause the NVR to factory default itself or require a manual default to operate properly.

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