Researchers Find DSLR Cameras Can Get Ransomware

/ 4 years ago
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Ransomware is perhaps one of the worst bits of malware you could hope to get. Put simply, usually entering via a rather innocent-looking e-mail attachment (something like an invoice) it encrypts all of the documents on your system. You largely don’t notice this until you next turn on the system and see the message on your desktop. From there, the malware will not release the files until you pay a ‘ransom’, often in Bitcoin. It is, after all, an untraceable currency. Hence, the name ransomware – your documents are literally held to ransom!

You may have been forgiven though, for thinking that a DSLR camera wouldn’t provide too much to worry about in this regard. Following the release of a video by ‘Check Point Software Technologies‘, however, it has been found that many cameras are indeed vulnerable to it. So, under what scenario can this happen?

Researchers Find DSLR Cameras Can Get Ransomware

Using a Canon camera as their base test model, it was found that a security vulnerability in the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) could allow the malware to successfully be transferred to the system. A file transfer system that is, incidentally, used in many digital cameras. Don’t think this is only an issue with Canon!

This means that if someone accessed it via wifi (or if it was connected to an infected system) it could potentially also cause all your pictures on the camera to be encrypted and locked out. Not something you want, particularly if you’re a professional photographer.

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How Likely Is This To Happen?

Put simply, it’s exceptionally unlikely that this would ever happen to your camera. While the vulnerability is there, it would require a very concerted effort by something within your wifi range. The only other option is that you had it connected to your system while the ransomware was working on its encryption. A factor which is even less probable.

The bottom line is, however, that while it is unlikely, it’s not impossible either! So, if you do regularly use wifi to transfer your pictures, you might want to just make doubly sure that it’s secure. You never know!

What do you think? Have you ever had a ransomware attack? Do you know someone who did? If so, what did you (or they) do to resolve it? – Let us know in the comments!

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