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Amazon Fire TV sticks infected with Android malware

By Chris Dawson June 12, 2018 - 3:41 pm

Watching pirated movies or TV through your Amazon Fire TV Stick or Amazon Fire TV could have exposed you to Android malware worm resulting in your device being used to mine cryptocurrencies.

First the good news, if you’re a regular user that has never messed around with your Fire TV device then you’ve got nothing to worry about. Under ‘Developer options’, ‘ADB debugging’ and ‘Apps from Unknown Sources’ are both set to ‘OFF’ by default so unless you’ve changed these settings you’re safe.

There are good and bad reasons for changing the security settings. Obviously developers will need access to the devices but generally consumers only use them for loading unapproved apps. Some of these apps are for illicitly watching pirated content and they appear to be the most likely reason Fire TV devices have been compromised by Android malware.

The impact of the worm known as ADB.Miner, which loads itself as a hidden app called ‘Test’, will be lack of resources as the malware uses them for nefarious purposes which could result in movies hanging and possibly an Android Robot logo appearing on your screen.

There are a number of solutions you can try which involve a choice of factory reset, manually removing the malware with a software tool or installing a borked version of the malware to a version with a kill switch turning the cryptocurrencies mining software off. Or of course you could simply not mess with your Fire TV device in the first place (unless you are a developer) and stick to the functions and apps that Amazon provide.

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