Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-11-2011, 09:10 AM   #1
Veteran Member
nanhi's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangalore, India
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 440
Can a DSLR get viruses

A search for DSLRs getting affected by viruses or trojans in the forum yielded no results. So here is my question:
Can a virus from a computer affect a DSLR when connected via a USB cable?
I recently used my K20D on a friends computer to download some photos on to it via the USB cable.
I noticed some strange files on the 4 GB San Disk extreme III card while the camera was still connected to the computer. I tried deleting them to no avail.
I was in a hurry so continued using the card in the camera till it was full. Later back home I inserted the card into my laptop slot and it started screaming "VIRUS". The DCIM folder and every other folder within DCIM was infected. I cleaned up the SDHC card and then downloaded the photos.
I checked the new 8 GB card from the camera and it had no virus.
I put the 4 GB card back into the camera and formatted it.
Come to think of it as I backtrack my shooting experience: I had to make exposure adjustments every time I took my holiday photos. Got them under or over exposed before the right shot. Very annoying and never happened with my K20D before.
Could this be an affect of the virus?
Would love to share your experiences and solutions.

01-11-2011, 09:21 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
eddie1960's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,271
Viruses are made to run on an operative system. Most of them (if not all considerable) were made for a windows system. This means that your camera does not catches viruses and it is also the reason why macs and other linux based systems don't see the problem as well, essentially the guys who write viruses target the largest segment. not much worry with a pentax os even if they decide to write a camera specific virus
01-11-2011, 10:01 AM   #3
Site Supporter
germar's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Austin Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 728
You're safe!

This is a worthwhile question, as a lot of folks don't know or understand the way virus code really works or if just any computerized system can get it.

Very quickly and building upon eddie1960's answer.

Your camera is safe.

A computer virus is code that must be written to work with a specific computer system, like Windows, Linux, or Mac. Code must be placed and executed on the target system, and within the strict definition of a "virus" the code will try to replicate itself and move to another target system.

While your camera does have an operating system in the form of it's firmware, it is custom written for the camera and can't support existing Windows (or any other personal computer type) virus. Also, as anyone here who has upgraded their firmware knows, it's a very deliberate process to find, prepare and install new camera firmware. It doesn't happen by accident. So ... essentially, your camera has literally no chance of being attacked by malicious code like a virus.

Hope that helps.

germar
01-11-2011, 10:42 AM   #4
Veteran Member
kkoether's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Huber Heights, OH, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 576
To further expand on this. Your camera looks like a removable drive when connected to a computer. There are a lot of viruses these days designed to attach themselves to removable drives aka flash drives, SD cards, CF cards etc. Your camera won't be affected but as you found out as soon as you plug your camera or card into another computer the virus tries to replicate itself on the host system. Fortunately it sounds like your virus software detected and cleaned your card before it got into your system. Just another thing to be on the lookout for when using removable drive between various computers.


Last edited by kkoether; 01-11-2011 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Grammer
01-11-2011, 10:56 AM   #5
Pentaxian
TaoMaas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,197
I had been wondering about this same question because my K10D started acting up after I connected it to an infected computer. Even if a virus couldn't pass via a camera, could it corrupt some files?
01-11-2011, 11:00 AM   #6
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,275
The extent of any damage would be corruption of image files on the SD card, but this wouldn't screw up anything in the camera itself.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

01-11-2011, 11:01 AM   #7
Senior Member
Capslock118's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Haven, CT
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 173
viruses can move from machine to machine via an sd card for sure like kkoether mentioned.

QuoteQuote:
Come to think of it as I backtrack my shooting experience: I had to make exposure adjustments every time I took my holiday photos. Got them under or over exposed before the right shot. Very annoying and never happened with my K20D before.
Could this be an affect of the virus?
You don't literally have no chance that there is a virus on your camera, specific to pentax firmware, but the chances are definately next to 0%.

Maybe you accidentally set the camera to spot metering or something, but more than likely it was not a virus.

Anyways, the fact that your virus scanner picked up that the files were a virus is just the sign you need. Virus scanners can only catch what the scanner company knows exists. So, since it was picked up by your virus scanner, this indicates that the virus was known and is a virus for whatever operating system you are using.

I'd worry about your computers that sd card was connected to, not your camera.
01-11-2011, 11:39 AM   #8
Pentaxian
TaoMaas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,197
With my camera, what happened is that the auto-orientation started acting weird. On my camera's LCD, everything looks great...in PhotoShop, everything looks great...I email my entries for our club competition to our chairmen, everything looks great....but when my entries get displayed, all my verticals are turned sideways. It's like something got changed that only this free image viewer sees.

01-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #9
Pentaxian
aleonx3's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,888
The only way that virus gets into the camera system is when you update the firmware, which means that you have to hold the MENU button while you turn on the camera power. That's why one needs to ensure that the firmware is from a legit source before applying the upgrade; otherwise, I am not sure if I worry about any virus getting into my camera.
01-11-2011, 02:15 PM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 3,315
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.
01-12-2011, 09:21 AM   #11
Veteran Member
nanhi's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangalore, India
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 440
Original Poster
Grateful thanks to all of you beautiful Pentaxians for clarity and help on the DSLR virus issue. Felt relieved. Note this writeup on Olympus cameras which got me startled: "Olympus Japan has released a statement explaining that a specific batch of its Stylus 6010 rugged compacts have been shipped infected with a PC virus, called Trojan.Gen. Affected cameras can be identified by their serial numbers and users of these cameras need to follow instructions from the website for virus removal. The virus does not affect the operation of the camera but will infect your PC if you connect the camera to your computer via USB".
This one I took with a pinch of salt: "A Nikon D70 did go dead when connected to the computer via a USB cable. Norton AV reported a virus. When the delete command was given, it deleted the virus as well as all the programs in the camera".
And I am glad no image file was corrupted on the 4 GB Extreme III San Disk card.
And here is a great secret I share with you all: After using the best expensive Enterprise Anti Virus Softwares on my HP Laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate, I changed to the FREE open source Clamwin and Avira AntiVir softwares. Note: these two can be run together on your machine w/o conflict. They are simply the best and update automatically everyday.
01-12-2011, 12:26 PM   #12
Inactive Account




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 469
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The extent of any damage would be corruption of image files on the SD card, but this wouldn't screw up anything in the camera itself.
Not true. The CAMERA is safe because it has no idea how to execute anything on a memory card intended for a PC, and I doubt anyone is going to bother creating an exploit that likely has to be make, model, and firmware revision specific for no real benefit other than annoying someone. However the memory card can indeed be a vector whereby a virus infects your system. Put it in system A to read or write a file on it, and a virus on system A sees writable media inserted and copies itself to the media. Then you take it to machine B to write or read something from it, and the virus can propagate. It's no different than a USB drive, which is one of the fastest growing vectors of infection in a lot of organizations.
01-12-2011, 01:32 PM   #13
Forum Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 90
Jumping in, though it seems well answered above...

A virus is written specifically for an operating system. Every computer has an operating system (including that fancy DSLR...) that it uses to make the components work together with the human. There are viruses written for Windows, the 'nix builds, and even osX. There has even been a recent spate of viruses targeting cell phones, especially the iphone.

As a general rule, the more complicated an operating system is, the more likely there are to be holes, unpatched vulnerabilities, and other stuff... And the return on investment for a virus is based on the number of devices it can infect. As a business decision it makes sense to target the largest market segment (windows PC's). The virus builds a bot net, and the net is used to perpetrate online protection rackets, spam, credit card phishing... that sort of thing. There's next to no market for targeting cameras. They just don't get you anything back. Virus writing is a business after all.

OTOH, it most certainly is POSSIBLE to write a virus to attack a camera. More likely, though, as mentioned above, is a virus targeting computers using the camera or memory card as a vector to get in. This isn't really a new idea - there was a batch of digital photo frames out of china a few years back that came from the factory with a virus that auto-installed on any machine the frame was connected to. It then scanned the machine for credit card numbers, and emailed them back home.

Other manufacturers have been targeted as well - USB thumb drives, things like that. I'm told (by a military friend) that the Pentagon had a bit of an issue with infected thumb drives. The virus appeared to have been placed by a Chinese agent on behalf of Beijing as an espionage attempt.

But don't let it worry you...
01-13-2011, 02:03 AM   #14
Veteran Member
nanhi's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangalore, India
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 440
Original Poster
Now all of you have put a stupid idea into my stupid brain: "what if camera companies start feuding and playing espionage games like in real life corporates, and start creating camera specific viruses".
Just a wild thought folks. Please don't tell the Canikon chaps. We Pentaxians are good people.
01-15-2011, 07:42 PM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ste-Anne des Plaines, Qc., Canada
Posts: 2,014
QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
I had to make exposure adjustments every time I took my holiday photos. Got them under or over exposed before the right shot
You must have (accidentally) activated the bracketting function on your camera.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
cable, camera, card, computer, dcim, folder, gb, pentax help, photos, virus, viruses
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
entry-level DSLR v. professional/high end DSLR r00t_b33r Pentax DSLR Discussion 8 11-25-2010 06:43 PM
K100ds: best DSLR ever, or greatest DSLR ever? Steve Beswick Pentax DSLR Discussion 71 01-19-2010 02:47 AM
First DSLR, considering k-x kimbaleo Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 15 01-02-2010 09:04 PM
i am new to DSLR hockeyman Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 03-12-2008 04:03 PM
TO do the Next DSLR right BrendanPK Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 09-27-2007 09:42 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:13 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top