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Security & privacy

Hackers have a new target: Your Kindle – Here’s how they can take over

If you think hacks and security flaws only affect computers and smart devices, think again. Any device connected to the internet, a computer or a network is vulnerable to attack. This includes surveillance cameras, smart speakers, smart televisions, baby monitors, routers and more.

Your printer may seem like an innocuous little box that does just one basic job, but it could also be a gateway into your network. Tap or click here for tips on securing your printer.

A security flaw was recently discovered in Amazon Kindle e-readers that can give a hacker access to information stored on the device and more. We’ll give you details on the flaw and tips on securing your Kindle.

Here’s the backstory

In an email to Kim Komando, security firm Check Point Research (CPR) detailed a flaw found in Amazon Kindle e-readers that hackers can use to take control of the device.

They gain access via a malicious e-book that appears harmless to users. When opened, it triggers the exploit. From there, the hacker can cause all sorts of mischief. Note: This flaw does not apply to Fire tablets.

Once inside your device, the threat actor can steal any information stored there, including your Amazon account credentials and billing information.

CPR found that attackers using this Kindle exploit can target specific groups. For example, if a hacker wants to target Romanian citizens, he can publish a malicious e-book written in that language.

CPR sent its findings to Amazon and noted that the online retail juggernaut was “cooperative.” Following this, Amazon patched the vulnerability.

Strengthen your Kindle settings

As with IoT (internet of things) devices, it’s important to keep your Kindle updated. It should automatically download and install updates while charging and connected to Wi-Fi, but you can also update it manually. This is helpful if your Kindle is in airplane mode or you haven’t charged it or connected it to a network in a while.

Since Amazon has fixed this flaw in a recent update, you must make sure your Kindle is updated ASAP.

To check your current software, go to your Kindle’s Home page and tap Menu > Settings > Menu > Device Info. Compare it to the latest software versions for specific models listed by Amazon here.

To update your Kindle via Wi-Fi, go to Menu > Settings > Menu > Update Your Kindle, then tap OK.

Updating your Kindle via PC or Mac takes a few more steps:

  • First go to the the Kindle software updates page and download the one for your e-reader.
  • Turn on and connect your Kindle to your computer using a USB cable.
  • Drag and drop the downloaded update file from your computer onto the Kindle drive.
  • Once the transfer is complete, eject your Kindle from your computer and disconnect the charging cable.
  • On your Kindle’s home screen, tap Menu > Settings > Menu > Update Your Kindle > OK.

Older Kindle models are losing their internet connection as 2G and 3G tech is being replaced by 4G and 5G. Tap or click here to see if your Kindle is affected.

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