Amazon makes it really easy for you to buy almost anything instantly. So if you've bought anything on Amazon, chances are you can shop again with just a few clicks.
Now imagine what a stranger or hacker could do with your Amazon account. I'm not just talking about your username and password. I'm talking about your credit card information along with your name, address and phone number.
You know, it seems like everyday, I'm telling you about another hack, scam or rip off. And in so many of them, the bad guys have thought up incredible ways to get past some of the best and most elaborate security systems ever invented. This one is no different!
It uses an simple product lots of folks buy - and enjoy from Amazon. But if you use it, you could be handing the keys to your bank account to cyber thieves.
That's what makes this story so scary: now it turns out hackers can hide malware inside e-books that you might read on Amazon's reader, the Kindle. A flaw in Kindle software allows the malware to send the hackers your Amazon credentials. That means they would have access to everything - including your payment information.
This exploit only works for Amazon Kindle users, and it only works when you use the "Send To Kindle" feature. This flaw was reported almost a year ago, but it was fixed soon after. However, since Amazon overhauled the "Manage Your Kindle" page, the exploit is active and has been shown to allow the malware to access your account.
In order for a hacker to get into your Amazon account, two things have to happen: the first is that you have to voluntarily download an infected e-book. The second is that you must use the "Send To Kindle" feature to add it to your e-reader.
It should be easy to avoid infected books. If you purchase through Amazon or other legitimate e-book sellers, you'll be safe. If you download from a trusted website like these sources for free e-books, you'll be safe. You're most at risk when downloading pirated e-books from torrent sites or untrustworthy links. You should never pirate e-books, and now you have one more reason not to!
Secondly, if you MUST download books of unknown origin (and you don't have to when there are so many places to get free legitimate e-books) don't use the "Send To Kindle" feature. Transfer them the old-fashioned way: over USB cable.
Here's the bottom line: because your Amazon account is so valuable, hackers are always going to be going after it. You have to be especially careful with online accounts that have access to your financial information. Click here to learn how to spot a fake Amazon phishing attack.