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Consumer Alert - Hikvision Warning

FCC Ban on Hikvision

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announces it has adopted new rules prohibiting communications equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to national security from being authorized for importation or sale in the U.S. Hikvision and Dahua are among the China-based companies cited in the ban. Nov 28, 2022

Few security dealers and CCTV distributors
are talking about the FCC ban on Hikvision, why?

Hikvision prices drop

US distributors and security dealers are quietly blowing out their inventories of Hikvision equipment for a reason. But the "incredible deals" on Hikvision cameras and equipment may come with a high price in the end. Security distributors and dealers are motivated to liquidate their inventory before the general public understands what the FCC ban means.

The FCC ban means no new electronic equipment produced by Hikvsion will be granted an FCC license, which makes new equipment from Hikvision illegal to be used in the United States. Current licensed equipment can still be sold until the equipment is phased out of production. This is what causes a "Trap" for consumers.

An uninformed consumer is likely to jump on the unusually low prices. But hold up! Just how long do you expect to have support for Hikvision equipment? Because the US is now a dead market for Hikvision, they will provide existing models until they are phased out of production, the normal migration of the electronic component industry will force the older models out of production within a year or two tops.

This means all those Hikvision systems installed across this country are now frozen in time. Maintenance of the systems is the only option, well that and replacing the system. The risk with maintaining the system is guessing how long Hikvision can make a profit supporting the current systems. Once it is not profitable to support current systems, Hikvision will abandon the US customers. What do they have to loose? Their reputation is already toast in the US market.

Facial ID Capture with Surveillance Camera

There is one more concern consumers should consider, the reason Hikvision was banned - NDAA Law. Hidden backdoors were found in the equipment, a serious security breach intentionally built-in to a foreign manufactured product that is being sold into the USA security market. If this does not concern you, you do not understand the risks.

Advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) can literally track a library of faces and identify a person from one security camera location to another, even if the the camera is not on the same system or in the same state. Hikvision has sold millions of these compromised cameras into the US market. A network of compromised cameras matched with advanced AI can track the movement of a person from the coffee shop, to a hotel, to work, to home. The potential is a national surveillance system build by a foreign government and installed by an unknowing US consumer. The possibility of tracking key political and military VIPs by a foreign government who has access to the compromised equipment is real, the technology is proven and reliable.

Hikvision Replacement Options

NDAA Compliant Dome Camera

We'll start with the good news. All the existing cabling and network structure can be used. PoE units are not compromised and can be used as well, replacement cameras can use the same Cat5 or Cat6 cable you have in place. You simply replace the cameras, video recorder, download a new app onto your smart devices and you have successfully migrated to a new secure NDAA compliant system. This approach is recommended, but if your budget does not allow for complete replacement you can migrate your system away from Hikvision overtime.

Migrating your system overtime is more complicated. It's key to first replace the NVR (Network Video Recorder) with an NDAA compliant unit that can support Hikvision cameras. It is important to verify the unit will support Hikvision cameras, just because two items are ONVIF compliant does not mean all the supporting features are compatible with each other.

Once the NVR is replaced you can now selectively, overtime, replace the cameras as they fail. Because the compromised video chips were used in both cameras and NVRs, your system will still be compromised until the last Hikvision camera is replaced.

We are Hikvision Replacement Experts!

Both our ProVue Series and Cyber Secure Series are NDAA compliant. They are the affordable replacement options. If you would like specific advice on how to migrate your system way from Hikvision, give us a call or schedule a free consultation below. Our design experts have over 60 years of combined experience. Designing an effective security solution requires expertise. We have that expertise, and can suggest cost effective options to replace your Hikvision equipment.

About Hikvision

Hikvision has been around since 1989 and is one of China’s largest video surveillance companies. It was founded by a former employee of Motorola who wanted to provide affordable security systems to Chinese citizens. Hikvision has its headquarters in Beijing, China, but it operates in over 100 countries around the world. It offers products ranging from video surveillance systems to access control solutions, and everything in between. Today Hikvision is one of the largest suppliers of CCTV cameras and security equipment in the world and one of only two manufactures that are listed by name in the 2019 NDAA ban.

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