Yesterday, we saw a wealth of reports highlighting that a number of Amazon Fire products have been hacked by cryptocurrency mining malware, designed to utilise the hardware processing power to authenticate transactions on the blockchain. Whilst this may not seem problematic, it can have adverse effects on your internet connection and energy bills. Moreover, it is a breach of privacy and confidentiality, nobody wants that do they.
The Amazon Fire products affected include Amazon Fire TV and the Amazon Fire Stick.
The problem is caused by a malicious package called ADB.Miner. It installs itself as an application on your device called ‘Test’ complete with the package name ‘com.google.time.timer’ according to TrustedReviews.com.
As it stands, only Amazon Fire devices that have been set to enable ADB Debugging and application downloads from external/unknown sources will have been affected by this. This will most probably be the case, if you have used your Amazon Fire product to install applications such as Kodi, that allow you to watch pirated movies.
Once ADB.Miner has installed, the software will allow cryptocurrency mining to take place on your device, this will mean your content plays at a reduced rate and that the interface of the Fire device will become laggy and slow. Some reports also say that when ADB.Miner is active, the Android logo will keep flashing up on your screen.
You can prevent this from happening to your Fire device, simply just open the ‘Developer Options’ section within the Fire settings menu and ensure that Apps from Unknown Sources are disabled and that ADB Debugging is switched off.
Otherwise, if you worry that you might already be infected, the only true fix at the moment is to perform a full factory reset of the Fire Device.
Whilst this might not seem like the most threatening vulnerability, it could have affected a large number of users. Moreover, this infection will hamper the performance of your Fire device and therefore, you’re not going to receive the full experience promised by the Fire device. Our advice is simple – if you are unsure about external apps, ensure that your settings are set to ensure apps from unknown sources are not allowed. Moreover, switch off ADB Debugging.
If you think you need these settings to be set this way, then just be careful, don’t download anything that you aren’t 100% sure of what it does and most importantly, where/who it came from.