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Old 12-31-2011, 05:28 AM   #1
Koobe
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Can a Kindle get a virus?

Hello, total noob.

Probably a dumb question. Possibly been asked before, but can a Kindle get sick?

Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:54 AM   #2
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Yes it can.

eReaders (regardless of brand) are nothing more than a small computer. Since they execute code, they can be contaminated.

Whether any have been is questionable. I don't recall hearing of any.

Last edited by OldGunbunny; 12-31-2011 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:01 AM   #3
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Thanks. I guess it's nothing to worry about yet. And I'm sure someone will cash in with some form of anti-virus software whenever it does become an issue.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:22 AM   #4
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Please post Kindle questions in the Kindle forum. I am moving this thread there.

Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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Since this can affect any ereader shouldn't it be posted where all can read it? Since I do not have a Kindle I do not read the Kindle Forum.
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:32 AM   #6
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Had the question been "Can an eBook reader catch a virus?", the "General Discussions" forum would indeed have been the appropriate place for it. The actual question, however, was "Can a Kindle catch a virus", and therefore the Kindle forum is the right place for it. Device-specific questions always get moved to their device forum.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:26 AM   #7
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I do not remember seeing any one in the PC security business talking about a kindle virus but I would immagine that it could happen. Troubble is while Kindles are very popular the operating system (OS) is not something that amazon will tell you or anyone else a lot about, this is something that a hacker would need in order to write the virus. For 2012 I would not worry too much about a kindle virus at the moment the security industry is telling me that the majority of the viruses inroduced are, from most frequently introduced to least frequently introduced are: Apple, Windows then Anroid. Its going to take the hackers a little while to get around to the kindle OS.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:29 AM   #8
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Troubble is while Kindles are very popular the operating system (OS) is not something that amazon will tell you or anyone else a lot about, this is something that a hacker would need in order to write the virus.
Er, you do know that the Kindle runs Linux, and that its source code is freely downloadable from Amazon's web site, don't you?
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:48 PM   #9
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Yeah, Kindle's are able to be infected with viruses. I wouldn't be surprised to see some eventually.

I just wonder how many, if any, would really be affected by it, though. I imagine that Kindle users (more often than not) use Amazon's Whispersync service for their book delivery. So, the malicious code would have to be in a book from Amazon (and I also assume that Amazon has some kind of virus-scan for their distributed files) and I'm not sure how successful that would be. But, then again, I'm just guessing here about all of that. I've been known to be wrong.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:24 PM   #10
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Er, you do know that the Kindle runs Linux, and that its source code is freely downloadable from Amazon's web site, don't you?
I seriously doubt that the Kindle OS source is available for download in entirety. As I understand it, if the Kindle OS is based on linux, Amazon has to release the portions using open source code because of licence agreement, but all sections of code not using open source code are proprietary and may remain private.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:30 PM   #11
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It doesn't matter all that much if there is source or not, though it does help in many cases. In either case, the source for all of the restricted license stuff is released. One need look no further than rooting the device for a good entry point for malware, as often happens on phones.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:47 AM   #12
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Kindle can be a carrier; just like any flash drive. Happened to me, the computer I was using got a bad virus (is there such a thing as a good virus?) which loaded all my flash drives and my Kindle with "seeds". Wound up having to scrub the hard drive, reinstall the OS, and install a strong AV program to clean up.

Anyway, it wouldn't hurt to include Kindle in your regular virus scan. You do run a virus scan regularly, don't you?
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:45 AM   #13
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Kindle is based on Linux, the virus you talking about mostly only works on Windows PC. It will not affect your kindle, but your another PC.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:08 PM   #14
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They said the same about Palm OS years ago and technically they could but it would depend on the objective.

I would imagine that the fire would be targeted much more than the b&w kindle given that internet ordering is much more likely to occur.

Linux can have viruses but as much as I like it until it gets to be mainstream I doubt significant ones would be created. Maybe I might be stereotyping here but I think the average linux user is more aware of the functions of the OS than one for windows.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:18 PM   #15
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A much more likely scenario, as mentioned earlier in the thread, is that the Kindle's mountable FAT32 partition could be infected by a virus from a PC, and thereby infect another PC that the Kindle is subsequently plugged into. You should always do a virus scan on any removable media that you connect to your PC, and that includes a Kindle or other eBook reader which mounts as a USB drive.
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