Has your camera been hacked? Have your pictures been encrypted and a ransom been demanded? This may not be as far-fetched as it seems, and it turns out the culprit is wifi. Of course, what else? The more connected we become, the greater the danger for the unwary.
According to Steve Dent, writing on Engadget, some DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Apparently, the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) is unauthenticated in both wired and wireless modes and is thus vulnerable to malware.
His article is based on an article by Check Point Software which demonstrates how an attacker in close wifi proximity to your camera can infect the device with malware, potentially holding all your pictures hostage. The vulnerability has been identified in several Canon models, but it could be more widespread. You can read a full technical description of the problem and solutions here at Check Point Software. Scary stuff, and no mistake.
Fortunately, I seldom use electronic connections on any of my cameras. I don’t have much use for the Leica FOTOS app (not that I’ve seen any evidence that this malware vulnerability involves Leica; it’s all pretty academic at the moment) and I leave wifi switched off unless I have to use it.
Just have ‘em, I don’t care
The main reasoning is not because of any perceived vulnerability, it’s simple a battery-saving measure. If you leave wireless connections live your battery will run down sooner, so it is sensible to switch on only when necessary. And it makes even more sense now we know criminals are trying to lock our SD cards and force us to pay a ransom.
They’d be out of luck with me, I’m afraid. They can have ‘em for what they’re worth — ie very little. I’ll just disinfect the camera, get a new SD card and make sure I don’t leave wifi live in future.