Home Cameras/Lenses Canon Camara Attacks: My pictures aren’t worth a ransom, so there

Camara Attacks: My pictures aren’t worth a ransom, so there

Image: Check Point Software

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.

Image: Check Point Software
Image: Check Point Software

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.

Hostage Pix

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.


    • I agree Brian, anything that chews batteries and I can live without, I tend to turn off. In fairness I hadnt considered it was a security risk, but i have heard of other devices being hacked via wife home hubs, but never a camera. I suppose it was only time before someone tried it.

  1. The ‘old fashioned’ card reader is your only man. If you need instant access to your photos or to send them immediately to your auntie in Australia, then use a phone to take photos. That Leica FOTOS app is a complete piece of nonsense and I have never been able to get it to work. The previous M app works, but all I did with it was a brief bit of amusement to take a selfie and then I never used it again. Digital cameras are about 20 years behind phones when it comes to communications technology. Is there a reason for this?



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