Hacked Hikvision IP Camera Map USA And Europe

By: IPVM Team, Published on Jan 22, 2018

The interactive map below shows a sample of hacked and vulnerable Hikvision IP cameras across the USA and Europe. Hover over a marker to see an image from that camera:

[Note: this report and map was originally published on Dec 18th for the USA only. We have now updated it to include / display European cameras.]

This map helps visually demonstrate how wide the practical impact and risk of easy to exploit vulnerabilities. The devices mapped above all suffer from the Hikvision IP Camera backdoor, demonstrated in the video below:

Hikvision cameras vulnerable to the backdoor exploit are accessible across the US. Many of these cameras have already been exploited, altered to show "HACKED" in place of the camera name as one example:

Additional Details

There are ~3,400 yellow markers for vulnerable cameras, and ~700 red markers for "HACKED" cameras (note in some cases, the OSD text is disabled, so while the camera name has been altered, it may not be shown in the image).

The average firmware found on the vulnerable cameras had a build date over 2 years old, showing that many users do not update firmware once a device is setup.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Methodology To Create Map

This is how IPVM built the interactive map. Device IPs were exported from Shodan, the result of a search for Hikvision cameras globally. Each device was evaluated against 3 key criteria:

  • Was it located in the US or Europe, based on results of an IP Geo Lookup
  • Was it a Hikvision device, - Hikvision OEM's were excluded
  • Did the camera have its name changed to some variation of "HACKED"

If the above criteria were met, a snapshot image using a public URL (/onvif-http/snapshot?auth=YWRtaW46MTEK) was taken and logged, along with latitude/longitude coordinates provided by the IP geo lookup. These scans were done throughout December 2017, though some devices had inaccurate time stamps that may indicate other dates.

IP address geolocation services typically do not provide precise locations, so camera locations shown will be accurate to a general area but not the exact location. 

The geolocation data was used to plot points, using Google Maps, with the snapshots associated with each camera/location to be displayed when hovering over the point.

Europe GDPR Concerns

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) [link no longer available], set to go in effect May 25, 2018, specifies potential fines for companies that expose data that can directly or indirectly identify a citizen of the EU without their consent. By shipping cameras with a hard-coded backdoor, Hikvision exposes EU citizens to such data disclosures without consent. Though Hikvision argues they patched the backdoor once they were made aware of it, they still shipped millions of cameras with this vulnerability, of which numerous are installed across Europe. Many owners of these cameras are unaware of this backdoor which exposes their cameras.

OEMs Add more

This map shows only Hikvision-branded cameras, if OEMs are included (see 80+ Hikvision OEM Directory), the map would have 5,000+ points in the US alone, and many more in Europe.

Only Data From Shodan

Additionally, while Shodan has a large number of Hikvision devices in its database, Shodan does not represent all of the internet-accessible Hikvision devices. Devices are added (or removed) daily, IP addresses may have changed, or units may have been temporarily offline during scans. While it is impossible to estimate what percentage of accessible Hikvision devices are in Shodan's database, we can guarantee there are more vulnerable/hacked devices than just those shown on the map.

Excludes Bricked / Hacked Offline Cameras

Many Hikvision IP cameras have been reported as being brought offline, either to update firmware and resolve the vulnerability or to remove remote connectivity to them when users realize the risks of placing vulnerable cameras on the internet.

These cameras, by definition, are excluded, since they can no longer be reached.

Only Shows People Who Have Not Fixed

The number of Hikvision cameras that have been hacked in some way are certainly far greater, since this map only shows IP cameras that have not been fixed by December 2017. The reports of hacking peaked in October and November (following the September disclosure here), giving users a month, or more, to notice and resolve these issues.

Reports of Hikvision cameras having 'HACKED' text, or exhibiting other symptoms of hacking have been circulating for the past few months, e.g.:

IPVM discussion of Hikvision cameras resetting:

An ipcamtalk thread from a user experiencing their Hikvision camera being hacked:

Other ipcamtalk threads from users experiencing cameras being factory reset via the backdoor exploit: 123.

Improving Cybersecurity Lessons

Users should consider the following lessons:

6 reports cite this report:

Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Jan 17, 2020
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
Hikvision Scrutinized In The Netherlands on Aug 15, 2019
Hikvision is facing unprecedented scrutiny in the Netherlands, at the same time the US government ban has taken effect. This week, a Dutch...
Chinese Government Blocks IPVM on Oct 22, 2018
IPVM has been blocked by the Chinese government without any notice or explanation. This means IPVM.com is no longer officially accessible anywhere...
"New Zealand Govt Uses Chinese Cameras Banned In US", Considers Security Audit on Oct 12, 2018
Newsroom NZ has issued a report: "NZ Govt uses Chinese cameras banned in US": This comes after the US federal government banned purchases of...
Hikvision HQ Contradicts Cybersecurity Director on Mar 07, 2018
Hikvision HQ has contradicted Hikvision USA's Director of Cybersecurity, Chuck Davis [link no longer available]. Davis - Don't Put Cameras On The...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 21, 2018
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more users relying on mobile apps as their main way of operating the system....
Comments (73) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Security Fail: ASISNYC Auto Emails Passwords In Plain Text on May 14, 2019
ASIS NYC automatically emails a user with the password the user just entered, in plain text, when one registers for the site / event, as the...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...
Vivotek Trend Micro Cyber Security Camera App Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Vivotek and Trend Micro are claiming five million blocked attacks on IP cameras, with their jointly developed app for Vivotek cameras. This new...
Dahua Wiretapping Vulnerability on Aug 02, 2019
IPVM has validated, with testing, and from Dahua, that many Dahua cameras have a wiretapping vulnerability. Even if the camera's audio has been...
Uniview OEM Directory on Sep 11, 2019
This directory lists 20+ companies that OEM products from Uniview, with a graphic and links to company websites below. It does not cover all...
Critical Vulnerability Across 18+ Network Switch Vendors: Cisco, Netgear, More on Aug 26, 2019
Cisco, Netgear and more than a dozen other brands, including small Asian ones, have been found to share the same critical vulnerability, discovered...
Warning: Windows 7 Update Crashing NVRs on Aug 26, 2019
Windows 7 updates are causing VMS servers to fail to boot. After running the update, impacted systems do not boot as normal, instead display this...
ONVIF Exposure To "Devastating DDoS Attacks" Examined on Sep 06, 2019
ZDnet reported "Protocol used by 630,000 devices can be abused for devastating DDoS attacks", citing exposure of ONVIF devices. And after an...
Dahua New Critical Vulnerability 2019 on Sep 23, 2019
Dahua has quietly admitted 5 new vulnerabilities including 1 critical vulnerability with a 9.8 / 10.0 CVSS score and 2 high vulnerabilities (scored...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hanwha Wisenet X Plus PTRZ Tested on Feb 14, 2020
Hanwha has released their PTRZ camera, the Wisenet X Plus XNV-6081Z, claiming the "modular design allows for easy installation". We bought and...
PRC Warns Against China Video Surveillance Hacks, Hikvision Targeted on Feb 14, 2020
Hackers are targeting China video surveillance manufacturers and systems, according to the PRC's main cyber threat monitoring body. The hackers...
IPVM Conference 2020 on Feb 13, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our 2020 conference. This is the first and only industry event that will be 100% sponsor-free. Like IPVM online, the...
Bosch Dropping Dahua on Feb 13, 2020
Bosch has confirmed to IPVM that it is in the process of dropping Dahua, over the next year, as both IP camera contract manufacturer and recorder...
BluB0X Alleges Lenel, S2, Software House Are Dinosaurs on Feb 13, 2020
BluB0X is running an ad campaign labeling Lenel, S2, Software House, Honeywell, AMAG and more as dinosaurs: In a follow-up email to IPVM,...
London Live Police Face Recognition Visited on Feb 13, 2020
London police have officially begun using live facial recognition in select areas of the UK capital, sparking significant controversy. IPVM...
Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in designing video surveillance systems. Though 'convergence' was a big...
Monitoreal "Completely Autonomous" Home AI Tested on Feb 12, 2020
Monitoreal claims to allow users to "see the things you want (people, vehicles, animals) and ignore the things you don’t”, using AI to distinguish...
Cisco Video Surveillance Is Dead, Long Live Cisco Meraki Video Surveillance on Feb 11, 2020
A dozen years ago much of the industry thought that Cisco was destined to dominate video surveillance. They stumbled repeatedly, failing. Now it is...
BICSI For IP Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 11, 2020
Spend enough time around networks and eventually someone will mention BICSI, the oft-referenced but only vaguely known standards body prevalent in...