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01-21-2011, 08:06 AM   #31
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Hi people - My Rebuttal

Hello all. Wow. Seems to be some angry Hornets in this little nest. And I am not directing anything I write at anyone specific. I am being generic, and trying to assert the answer. So, for my rebuttal, I would like to say. That you can see by my post, that I am being generic. I was trying to explain the facts as they stand at the present time. Facts! This does not mean that I do not understand the orignal question Germar (no offence). Which, incidentally, was, "Can a virus from a computer affect a DSLR when connected via a USB cable?". This question, in no way, states that the viral code is entirely PC dependant. Nor does it state, that the viral code "does not" contain a payload that is/was designed for a camera. This is implied in the original question. The question asks if a virus "from a computer" can effect a DSLR. The answer to this question, unequivocally, is "Yes". Try this, Google "define: firmware", and you will see what exactally firmware is. Then these "define: propagation", and "define: bifurcation", and you will have an understanding of how viral code spreads. Once you understand those, then check out this website, Welcome to Pentax Hack please. And it will become blatantly apparent to you, that a camera "CAN" be effected by a "VIRUS". Not necessarily code that is dependant on a Computer. Or the operating system that it runs. But a "Viurs" none the less. If the code is specifically written to find the firmware of the camera in question, like say the Michelangelo virus, or spread and infect like the Nimda worm. Then the answer stands as an unequivocal "YES". If the "Viral/Worm Code" has found it's "Host File". That being the "Pentax Firmware File". Prior to camera Operating System update. Then it has an opportuny to corrupt the firmware file. With say, a module that specifically does something to every image stored on the SD Card. Henceforth, hacking the Pentax Operating System of the Camera in question. And Viola, you new K20D, has a virus. The answer is "Yes". A virus "CAN" infect a DSLR! I know this, as when I was studying, I had to reverse engineer viral code. That was written in Assembler Language. Google --> define: Assembler Language. Cheers.

01-30-2011, 05:43 AM   #32
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Viruses and JPEGs

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
As others have said, the camera itself is unlikely to get a virus. The memory card can relay a virus between PCs.

I get some unexpected virus warnings with my K-R.

No problems are found during a full virus scan (using Avira) on my Windows 7 PC. I reformatted my SDHC card using the camera menu so there shouldn't be any viruses hidden there. However, approximately half the time I download photos from the camera to my PC, Avira pops up warnings about Java-based viruses.

I shoot using DNG+JPG. I plan to run some scans using other antivirus programs, but my strong suspicion is that the photo files contain some sequence of bytes that look like a virus, thus triggering a false warning.
JPEGs are classic for transmitting viruses to PCs, so not surprising a virus program can give alerts, even if there is no real reason to do so.

The virus (worm, whatever) often maskerade as a JPEG file, as a way to get into the computer and its OS, and then starts its dirty deeds.

Here we have had problems with memory sticks, that have arrived from the manufacturer infected with a nasty virus. Only affecting PCs, which I rarely use - but there are nasties for Mac OS, and Linux, too!

Computers with its OS in firmware, like my old RiscOS computers, are less affected, but most such computer OSes boot the OS into RAM at start-up, as the firmware is/was too slow to run from the chips it was embedded into, so again became vulnerable.But having the OS on a hard disc, like modern PCs, is the worst solution, of course, flash memories the second worst, and so on ...

Lately there has been viruses/worms spread to the internet that affects the stepper motors used in some makes of equipment used in the process of enriching uranium, no less, no more. These viruses probably originate from the US (CIA), or Israel (Mossad) - the experts haven't been able to determine exactly.

The target was/is Iranian enrichment plants, which naturally are not connected to the internet, but equally naturally are controlled by computers, and some employee brought an infected memory stick to work, maybe to show his friends his latest photos of the family, maybe on purpose infecting the site, and the entire plant broke down.

Some years back the Baltic bank system was attacked in a similar way by trjans and other stuff emanating from Russia, in an effort to destabilize the Baltic States (not that long ago parts of Russia), and almost succeded to do so.

So speculating that one camera manufacturer would love to see viruses disable the arch rival's cameras isn't that far fetched, if unlikely. In time of war, things could change quickly, of course!

And it has happened that antivirus programs have been transmitters of viruses!

I personally wouldn't use a SD card I had put into somebody else's computer, without reformatting it in the camera before using, preferably a deep level reformatting, if you have that possibilty (Pentax cameras do not do this, of course - takes a very long time to do) - I'd format it incamera first, and then, if I am worried, deep-format on my old portable which can run my deepformatting software (just about the only thing I use Windows for). Takes ages, though ...
02-02-2011, 09:20 AM   #33
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I don't shoot digital, but this is an interesting thread since I often use the USB connection to transfer music to my player from one of two computers.

Let me see if I understand it correctly.

Your device (camera, music player, cell phone, etc.) will not get infected by a virus designed for your personal computer.

Another personal computer could theoretically be infected from a virus the first computer may have placed on the smart card of your device if it gets USB or direct access to that smartcard.

Your device could theoretically be infected by a virus specially designed for it, but this is much less likely than your PC getting sick.

Two devices of exactly the same kind could pass an infection from one to the other by sharing smartcards, but the chances of that are very low since most viruses are written for Windows, with only a few for other operating systems.

Cell phones with their Android system are slightly more vulnerable than cameras with highly custom firmware.

Is that about right?

Last edited by asaru; 02-02-2011 at 09:30 AM.
02-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #34

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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
... Is that about right?
Yes, right. Any USB memory device is a potential virus carrier between computers.


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