Yes, You have read it correctly now your Amazon Kindle can be hacked along with your Amazon account. According to the research published recently at the DEF CON security conference, which took place in Las Vegas.
As soon as a malicious book is opened, a remote hacker gets all the access to delete all the books on the device and can easily steal the authentication token which is used to get into an Amazon account. Yaniv Balmas, head of cyber research at Check Point has revealed, “Having a stock of these tokens, the attacker would now be able to access the victim Amazon account and can do anything on his behalf”. The hacker can also use the Kindle as a launchpad for attacking other devices on a local WiFi network.
Amazon, however, has fixed this issue, and users who are running the latest Kindle software are safe from such attacks. The first issue was reported to Amazon in February 2021, and they fixed the bug in the 5.13.5 version of Kindle’s firmware in April. The patched software was installed instantly on internet-connected devices. However, Amazon hadn’t replied to any request for comment at the time of publication.
After this incident, many researchers bring questions like, to what extent a Kindle user can trust books that are self-published on Amazon’s marketplace or even ebooks downloaded from any platform are safe or not. This incident is the first example of a hack that gets complete remote control over a Kindle with a malicious book.
According to Forbes, Balmas wrote in a report that their research shows that at the end of the day, every electronic device is some kind of computer only. And just like computers, these IoT devices like drones, kindle, smart toothbrushes are exposed to the same attacks. So it is very important for everyone to be aware of the cyber risks in using smart appliances, especially Amazon’s Kindle.
What also worried Balmas was that an attack using ebooks must be set up to attack specific kinds of users. For instance, if an attacker wants to go after those interested in a particular subject, such as technology, the hacker will publish a free book that appears to be a popular title carrying the malicious code. In Balmas’ references, the hackers might publish a Romanian book to target only Romanian readers. And this is something we should be aware of.
Today, Amazon Kindle has become an essential part of our life and it seems difficult to imagine our life without it. But we should be careful while using Amazon kindle, some small initiatives from us can save us from hackers. Always download new books from a reliable source and keep scanning the device regularly.
Happy reading to all the readers, share your thoughts on this in the comment section.