Today’s Question: Is this issue [regarding a security exploit of the Picture Transfer Protocol for certain Canon camera models] something I should be concerned about?
Tim’s Quick Answer: While I don’t consider this security issue to be a major concern, I do recommend that photographers with affected cameras update their firmware promptly to address this issue. As a general rule I consider it a good practice to check for firmware updates somewhat frequently, and to be sure updates are installed somewhat soon after they are released.
More Detail: Digital cameras, just like computers, smartphones, and other digital devices, have software that controls their internal functions. In the case of hardware such as a digital camera, that software is actually referred to as “firmware”.
Just like any other connected device, cameras can have security issues. In addition, there may be bugs and other issues in firmware that can lead to problems with various functions of your camera. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the firmware for your camera updated somewhat regularly.
Canon recently released firmware updates for a variety of cameras that include support for the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP). There is a risk with earlier firmware versions that the camera could be compromised. There aren’t any known exploits of this issue, but it is still best to install these types of security updates relatively quickly.
If you have a Canon camera that supports Picture Transfer Protocol, I highly recommend downloading and installing the latest firmware update. But really, this is a good reminder for all photographers to check for firmware updates for all of their cameras, if they haven’t done so recently.
Canon users can find the latest firmware update for their digital camera by locating their camera model on the Canon support page here: