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Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

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Offline BillEvans1956 Reading
19 Apr 2012, 05:36 PM | Post: #1

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Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

Hello,
Not too sure if this has been covered elsewhere, but I would be keen to know if Kindles are vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks via access to the Internet? What is the security to prevent this happening? Does anyone know of Kindles which have become 'infected'?
Thanks.
Bill
Offline carryonvending Reading An Officer & a Spy - Robert Harris
19 Apr 2012, 05:47 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

Initial post: Sep 2, 2011 3:05:13 AM PDT
John Barnes says:
There is an assumption that Kindle is not vulnerable to virus infection. My recent experience indicates otherwise. My Kindle was infected with a flash memory virus which did 3 things:
1. Turned my folders into hidden files which I could not see when I connected my Kindle to my PC via USB
2. Created execution files with the same name and icon as my document folders (ie. documents.exe) which when I mistakenly clicked (thinking it was my document folder) served to spread the virus further;
3. Added a number of other malicious execution files to my Kindle.

This was really unexpected and a real headache to clean up altho I did eventually succeed.

LESSONS: 1. Kindle is vulnerable to viruses, 2. beware of flash memory viruses
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Offline carryonvending Reading An Officer & a Spy - Robert Harris
19 Apr 2012, 05:50 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

Kindle Fire

Free Kaspersky
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Offline Lou Reading Ryria Series by Michael J Sullivan
19 Apr 2012, 08:14 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

Quote: . My recent experience indicates otherwise. My Kindle was infected with a flash memory virus which did 3 things:

This to me sounds more like a virus on his PC that overwrote files on the Kindle. It's very unlikely that a Kindle would be the source of an infection. Of course it's worth remembering that when plugged in, the Kindle behaves just like a disk drive, so if you have had a virus problem on you computer, files on your Kindle could well be damaged if you plug it in.

As for the Kindle getting a virus through its own browser, while not impossible, I would consider this unlikely in the extereme.
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Offline frogplate Reading The Luck of Han’anga - Thomas Watson
19 Apr 2012, 09:43 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

Quote: It's very unlikely that a Kindle would be the source of an infection.

As you say the Kindle is seen as a USB drive, so it could act as a vector to transmit PC viruses between Windows machines.

I wouldn't expect there are any eInk Kindle viruses out there yet. At the moment the platform is probably too small a target for virus writers to be bothered about. After all there are less Kindles out there than Apple Macs and the argument (until recently) has always been that the Mac was too small a niche to attract attention.

I'm not sure whether a native eInk Kindle virus would be possible. On the one hand the Kindle is just a Unix box, connected to the Internet, and probably running without a firewall (anyone know?) The latest Kindle ebook format, KF8, is basically HTML 5 and CSS 3 so it might be possible to pull in malicious content when a page of the book is displayed (via a WebSocket perhaps).

But on the other hand I can't think of an efficient way that it could then infect other Kindles, other than via books on a PC it attaches to. As there is no Kindle to Kindle connectivity, further infection would be pretty difficult.

Cheers,

Jonathan
Offline Lou Reading Ryria Series by Michael J Sullivan
19 Apr 2012, 10:07 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

KF8 is using a very cut down set of HTML 5 tags, so definitely no web sockets and no JavaScript of any consequence.
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Offline frogplate Reading The Luck of Han’anga - Thomas Watson
19 Apr 2012, 11:13 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

(19 Apr 2012 10:07 PM)Lou Wrote:  KF8 is using a very cut down set of HTML 5 tags, so definitely no web sockets and no JavaScript of any consequence.

Thanks! That is reassuring. I sit corrected.

The "of any consequence" sounds interesting...I've seen reference to <script> being supported but reserved for Amazon's own use. I guess that would make sense if there were plans for active content in the future.
Offline carryonvending Reading An Officer & a Spy - Robert Harris
20 Apr 2012, 07:09 AM | Post: #8

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

(19 Apr 2012 11:13 PM)frogplate Wrote:  
(19 Apr 2012 10:07 PM)Lou Wrote:  KF8 is using a very cut down set of HTML 5 tags, so definitely no web sockets and no JavaScript of any consequence.

Thanks! That is reassuring. I sit corrected.
Don't sit corrected, think that you asked a valid question
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Offline frogplate Reading The Luck of Han’anga - Thomas Watson
20 Apr 2012, 10:04 PM | Post: #9

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

(20 Apr 2012 07:09 AM)carryonvending Wrote:  Don't sit corrected, think that you asked a valid question

I've got no problem with being corrected - I learned something new and it has got me interested in finding out more about how KF8 is implemented.

To misquote from Ulysses - mistakes are the portals of discovery.

Cheers,

Jonathan
Offline Lou Reading Ryria Series by Michael J Sullivan
21 Apr 2012, 06:32 AM | Post: #10

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RE: Are Kindles vulnerable to virus / trojan attacks?

To me, KF8 is a bit of a disappointment, because as you say, there is no facility for minimal JavaScript to add interactivity beyond playing an audio or video clip. This is a real shame. If you read the small print too, the media files are only supported on iPhone/iPad and not Kindle Fire which is crazy.
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