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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Anti Virus/Malware Protection for Kindle Fire

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Showing 1-25 of 145 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 24, 2011 12:04:05 PM PDT
Michael says:
Has there been any discussion of recommended and/or compatible anti virus software that can be used with the Kindle Fire? I would think that any device capable of browsing the web, needs some on-board protection against malicious sites that attempt to infect the device with viruses and malware.

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 12:10:42 PM PDT
J. Harnden says:
I saw a thread regarding this same topic might do a search for it and see what everyone had to say :)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2011 4:38:22 PM PDT
Q says:
Nearly all Mac and Linux users don't use an anti-virus or anti-malware app because very few viruses are written to target that OS, plus OSX and Linux OS's are much more secure.

The Kindle Fire is an Android Linux-based OS. It won't need an anti-virus or anti-malware app to protect it.

I'm sure some company will write something for the clueless user, but you won't need it.

Besides, few people will be storing anything sensitive on the Fire anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2011 4:52:32 PM PDT
Jazzy_Jeff says:
Just do a search on the Amazon Android appstore. There are programs available.

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 5:34:22 PM PDT
KimberlyinMN says:
Lookout is good. That's what I use on my phone. Lookout Security & Antivirus BTW, I always check the reviews at the Android Market after reading reviews in the Amazon Android Market - seems there are way more haters for most apps in the Amazon Android Market.

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 5:39:40 PM PDT
Kindleista says:
People write viruses for profit these days. Why waste your time writing viruses for Android when you can reach so many more people on Windows? Quatro, I love my Apple products but OSX isn't anymore secure than Windows. Macs avoid viruses simply by having a comparatively low market share.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2011 5:52:52 PM PDT
Q says:
Ha! True, I suppose.

Though I have *read* that Mac & Linux more secure. (Perhaps it was just the Apple friends boasting) But I've no way to confirm that. I've just never met a Mac user who put an AV on their Mac. AV's are out there for the Mac, but who wants to slow down performance with an unneeded AV running 24/7 in the background?

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 5:56:57 PM PDT
Cyndie says:
I use Lookout Security on my Droid X and love it. Plus it has a feature if I lose it, it can locate it and even emits a scream if I want it to in case it's stolen.

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 9:39:22 AM PST
DDW says:
While using IMBD app on Kindle Fire, I had an unwanted pop-up from Quibids (an auction site I have never visited). It would not allow me to navigate away or to continue using IMBD app. Amazon customer service tells me that it is impossible for Kindle fire to get a "virus". I also cannot delete IMBD app as it came preinstalled. I find it hard to believe that any web browser is absolutely immune to viruses and malware. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Any solutions?

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 9:41:15 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jan 5, 2012 5:52:00 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 11:05:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2011 12:08:45 PM PST
The main reason people don't load antivirus software on non-Windows operating systems is that these OSs generally don't allow programs to be installed and run without a system administrator's permission.

Microsoft took an overly lenient, trusting approach with their original Windows security model, which allows software installation and execution in the background without the user's permission or even awareness. Virus program writers quickly took advantage of this with their malware. To combat it, Windows users have had to run antivirus software to try and prevent something that the OS never should have allowed in the first place. These antivirus software programs bog down computers, making them run much slower than their potential. And they can't catch everything.

It's not that the designers of Apple, Linux and other OSs were more clever about preventing malware. They were just following best practices established long ago in computer science: Don't allow programs to be installed and run without permission. Duh.

Recently Microsoft has begun tightening up their Windows security model, beginning with Vista and continuing with Windows 7. The door is closing. If they get it right, it might even put antivirus software vendors out of business.

There's another type of malware out there called "trojans." These are programs that appear to be trustworthy and safe but have malware hidden inside. Unsuspecting users install them willingly. Antivirus software wouldn't prevent that.

Malware writers are interested in targeting other systems besides Windows. Just look at the Mac Defender trojan that made headlines earlier this year. Because of the Mac OS security model, it can't install itself and run without permission. So it tricks users into doing something incredible: giving the malware permission to install and run. When a Mac user visits a website hosting the Mac Defender trojan, a message appears on their screen telling them that their computer is unprotected from viruses. It asks them if they want to install Mac Defender, which claims to be antivirus software (which they don't really need) but actually is malware. Some of the more gullible users trust this message for some reason and allow the site to install Mac Defender. Bingo, they're infected.

I'm no expert on Android, but from my limited reading it seems that it doesn't allow software to be installed and run without permission. So that takes care of viruses.

However, Android has been getting media coverage about trojans. For example, a malware writer could develop an app that appears to be a game, utility, whatever. But it could have code inside that does other things, like maybe sending all of your data to the hacker's website.

So do you need antivirus software on your Kindle Fire? Probably not. The biggest security risk you face is installing a trojan app that contains malware, and your best defense is installing apps only from trusted sources. The Amazon Android Appstore is safe, because their software engineers examine each app before allowing it to be posted. Most leading vendor websites probably are safe. Other sites? Up to you, but I wouldn't trust them.

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 11:10:31 AM PST
Loading such a program will cause your battery to drain quicker, and put an undo burden on the hardware, in my opinion. As others have said, at this point in time, such applications are unnecessary, so long as one installs applications from the right places and you don't root the device.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 1:48:50 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 2, 2011 1:50:52 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 4:54:58 PM PST
druid141 says:
I purchased my Kindle Fire 10 days ago and had used it only for reading up until about 4 days ago. That's when I opened it to the web, inserted my email data and tried to read my email. I have downloaded no apps. The day after I opened the web browser my laptop exploded into a malware frenzy, sending out a deluge of undeliverable mail hosting sponsorship from a canadian pharmacy. Without associating this event with the Kindle, I brought my laptop to be exorcised after unsuccessfully running programs trying to locate a virus. Today, while my laptop is still being serviced, I decided again to use the Kindle Fire to read my emails. I was successful and set up a particular format on the Kindle for having the pane for the list of emails on the left and the reading pane on the right. I have never done this to my PC. Tonight, while working with the PC, opening the email showed barrage of nondelivered mail which is similar to that which I had found on my laptop. Furthermore, my email page on my PC is now locked into the same format of panels which I had set up on the Kindle only hours ago. I have never downloaded any programs on the Kindle, and am savvy enough not to have opened any email of suspicious nature or otherwise unknown source at any time, especially today. Now my PC will have to go in for exorcism. Both machines will cost me about $200.00 to be fixed, the price I paid for the Kindle. Am I an expert such that I know the Kindle is to blame? No! However, I cannot otherwise explain the juxtaposition of the two sequences of email use with the development of malware-like events on my email, nor of my PC's being locked into an email mode that is identical to that which I set up late this afternoon on the Kindle, only an hour or so before the email barrage that was sent out. I have had both machines for two years and have not had a problem with a virus in either machine. The Kindle is going back! Any other suggestions?

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 6:58:00 PM PST
Kirk Leeson says:
I also have the canadian pharmacy link, I think it's What happens is that every time my Fire turns off due to inactivity when I turn it back on I've got a browser session to that site open. I will contact support tomorrow, but anyone saying the fire can't get virus/malware is mistaken.

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 7:22:59 PM PST
Shawn Morgan says:
I found this thread in the course of doing research to see if I might need a anti-virus scanner or not, even if the chances were fairly remote, and I'm leaning towards "probably" not (in do I need a anti-virus scanner or not).

But, one thing people seem to be missing here is that there IS a lot of money to be made by somehow infecting a Kindle Fire. These things are connected directly to our Amazon accounts, and those accounts are connected to our credit/debit cards. Where there's a dollar to steal a thief will not be far off. It's very conceivable that a Kindle Fire could be infected (either with a virus or a trojan) and vital data stolen.

Now I'm not trying to raise undue alarm about the security of the device (that I happen to love and 3 other members of my family own as well) and scream "THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!!". I simply want people to be aware that it's very possible and we all need to use common sense in where we go online and what apps we download and install.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 7:18:38 AM PST
Kirk Leeson says:
Just a follow up. I emptied every cache I could find on the browser and still had the problem. I submitted an email to Amazon support Sunday night, but despite their message that I would receive a reply within 12 hours I still haven't heard from them. On Monday night I wound up just resetting the Fire to Factory and going through and re-registering etc. Since all of my apps and stuff are in the cloud I just had to redownload the ones I was using and away I went. No problems after doing that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2011 8:14:23 PM PST
KsTinMan says:
Hey Q: Recall the Apple television ad which said they don't get viruses? Oops... They threw down the gauntlet, and cyber criminals have responded with a vengeance. NO operating system is immune to malware. Sure, MS OS's are the main target simply due to their popularity, but that doesn't make others bullet proof. And, it's not just sensitive material that's at stake.

According to McAfee (see,
"the amount of malware targeted at Android devices jumped nearly 37 percent since last quarter, and puts 2011 on track to be the busiest in mobile and general malware history. Nearly all new mobile malware in Q3 was targeted at Android."
There are plenty of others, including Google (the Android OS manufacturer) who are fighting the malware epidemic... do a Google search of "Android OS malware". Specifically read about the 50+ Android apps that Google recently pulled from the market due to virus infection.

To say that only clueless users will use anti-malware protection is naive and uninformed. Cyber criminals ARE out to get us... Believe it. If you want to expose yourself that's your business, but don't suggest that others should do the same.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2011 8:18:45 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 14, 2011 8:19:43 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 8:42:17 PM PST
Ernie says:
Tons of misinformation here.
Linux in the Android incarnation uses what is referred to as a sandbox.
Apps run is an area separate from the OS. They can't corrupt it like a virus can change files relevant to windows.
Further, you have to give an app permission to run - the OS requires a disclosure be made.

If you download a note taking app and it asks for your contacts, email access etc, you should be leery of installing it.

Lookout is worthless and does nothing but waste ram and battery.
The only malware ever found has been found by Google (the owners of the OS) or the community at large.
Not one AV suite has ever found anything of note.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2011 9:09:23 PM PST
Q says:
Thanks, Bernie, for setting the record straight. Good to know these facts.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 9:17:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2011 9:19:34 PM PST
J. Spotts says:
Antivirus really is the least safe method of protecting your device. You'd be better off with a sandbox or deep freeze utility. This is not to say that all sandboxes are equal. The biggest Achilles heal in Windows UAC is that it actually asks the user permission to allow or deny applications/programs/processes to run. Being the lazy, misinformed creatures we are. There are plenty of people that click permit/allow each time a pop-up displays. This is usually because they do not fully grasps or understand what the computer/device is asking them and they want the box to go away. The faster it goes away the quicker they can view their porn, or watch their pirated movie. If you want to keep your OS protected. The best place to start is with the human using it.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 9:27:49 PM PST
Ernie says:
You're welcome R

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2011 9:17:57 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 16, 2011 9:21:33 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2011 9:22:06 AM PST
Sinja says:
I've had the same thing happen to me. Two different times I checked emails on my Kindle Fire, I got the same email barrage that you described. Not sure what I should do, other than don't check my emails on my fire. Any suggestions?
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  93
Total posts:  145
Initial post:  Oct 24, 2011
Latest post:  9 days ago

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