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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Virus on my kindle?


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Showing 1-25 of 41 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 19, 2010 8:16:16 AM PDT
S. weiler says:
Is this even possible? Today I realized my kindle wouldn't charge off the wall charger so decided to hook it up to my computer via usb and see if it worked that way. When I plug it into the computer, the light shows up that shows it is charging. But as soon as it was connected, my antivirus program, avg, kicked out a warning. It says it has identified a virus on the kindle. It says the worm/autorun.JE has been detected in several folders. I am wondering if this is the update based on the folders mentioned. It has the "virus" in documents.ink, music.ink, Newfolder.ink passwords.ink, pictures.ink and Video.ink. The new folder and passwords folders are what makes me think this might be the update in the process of downloading.

But has anyone ever gotten a virus on their kindle and is that even possible?

Posted on May 19, 2010 9:54:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 19, 2010 9:56:30 AM PDT
Johan says:
The Kindle itself cannot get the traditional virus infections as we know it (or rather, there are no real threat at the moment but anything is possible), but as the storage area works the same as a memory stick you can infect the Kindle with any of the bunch of memory stick viruses currently running amok if you connect your kindle via the USB cable to a windows computer.

Posted on May 19, 2010 9:59:16 AM PDT
Johan says:
By the way, the viruses will not really harm your Kindle, but will continue to infect any unprotected PC you connect your Kindle to. You might want to check all the PCs you connected your Kindle to. Maybe their virus definitions are out of date. Some of these viruses even manages to disable the real-time virus protection in some cases.

Posted on May 19, 2010 10:06:00 AM PDT
antiquary100 says:
If you do get a virus on your Kindle, how do you get rid of it?

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2010 10:11:12 AM PDT
Johan says:
Depends on the infection, but most of the main stream Anti-virus programmes should be able to clean it up if you run a scan on it.

Posted on May 19, 2010 10:12:27 AM PDT
flipoid says:
I would think that, unless you use the web browser on your Kindle, there wouldn't be a way to get a virus on the Kindle. I wouldn't think any virus would be downloaded from the Kindle Store.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2010 10:19:03 AM PDT
ShirleyKat says:
Johan, how could a main stream Anti-virus program for Windows clean up a device that does not run Windows? I believe I read that the underlying OS for Kindle is Linux. If not that, it's some Unix variant.

Posted on May 19, 2010 10:22:08 AM PDT
I would think it could be like a thumb drive in that it could "spread" a worm or virus. While it might not damage the Kindle, it needs to be addressed.

Back in the day when I still had kids living at home, we got nasties a couple of times from shared floppies and thumb drives.

A call to Kindle CS might be in order to see what they suggest.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2010 10:23:30 AM PDT
K.D. says:
Just as you can browse the kindle folders when it is attached to your computer, the anti virus software can browse the contents of the drive. You aren't running the av software on the kindle, you are running it on your windows based computer.

Posted on May 19, 2010 10:24:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 19, 2010 10:24:55 AM PDT
flipoid says:
I agree with ShirleyKat--since the Kindle does not run on Windows, I don't see how an anti-virus program designed for Windows would help. I don't think there is a virus at all; I would call Kindle CS and see what they say.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2010 10:25:04 AM PDT
ShirleyKat says:
flipoid, maybe someone will correct me but possibly hooking up Kindle to an infected computer could transfer over files that could then be transferred back to an uninfected PC. We Mac users are warned that we can be a conduit for Windows viruses and I did that once to my brother, though possibly it was because he followed a web link I provided. I don't remember exactly how it happened.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2010 10:27:07 AM PDT
K.D. says:
It can help the same way it helps when you scan a floppy dish or flash drive that doesn't even have an operating system. I used windows to view the files and look for files that have the characteristics of known viruses.

Posted on May 19, 2010 10:28:49 AM PDT
The computer sees the Kindle as a mass storage drive. If your computer transferred an infected file to the Kindle, your Windows anti-virus software could clean the infection the way it could clean the infection on an external hard drive or flash drive. Just scan it as another drive. It doesn't matter what OS the Kindle uses if the computer sees it as a mass storage drive.

Did you try using the reset to factory settings to see if that helps?

Posted on May 19, 2010 10:34:26 AM PDT
Johan says:
If you hook up a Kindle to your PC it becomes just another drive on your PC subject to the same risks as any other drive. You can infect your Kindle in that way, and your existing AV software should under most circumstances be able to deal with it. We had a major outbreak at work which infected my Kindle by spreading through shared folders. The fact that the Kindle is running Linux only helps to protect it if you don't connect it to your PC. It will not, for example, pick up a virus from the internet or from the Amazon store (heaven forbid!). Having Linux is not a guarantee of not getting any type of vrus, although the incidence is almost negligible, so most people consider it to be virus free. For the Kindle, the threat is connecting it to your PC.

Posted on May 19, 2010 3:14:20 PM PDT
Dalmane98 says:
The Kindle OS is in a hidden partition or a NAND Partition...

The Kindle is not affected...It just becomes a host...Similar to Typhoid Mary...

It spreads the virus, but is not affected by it...

Posted on May 19, 2010 6:49:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 19, 2010 7:12:36 PM PDT
S. weiler says:
What I am thinking is that the "virus" I am seeing is actually teh start of the upgrade. The fact that 2 of the infected files are passwords and folders. WhenI look at the folders inside my kindle, I also have a file titled partdldtmp file. I am betting that stands for partial download temporary file. It also has the word update in it, so that is a fairly safe guess lol.

I just called Amazon, and have to say, their help on this was not that helpful. When I explained what was going on, they upgraded my phone call to a different level. This guy said he can't see if my kindle is updating, the update should only take 20 minutes or so and is a one time download (which is contrary to what other people are posting that they received). All he had me do is restart my kindle. Like I couldn't have figured that one out on my own! He advised me not to quarantine this virus and leave it alone for a few days. So I guess I play a waiting game and see what happens. If nothing changes by tomorrow, I guess I will call customer service and try a different department this time.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2010 7:19:56 PM PDT
TravelingGal says:
I had two partdldtmp files on my Kindle - from December 2009. I'm pretty sure they were part of the 2.3.3 update which never completed on my Kindle.

Posted on May 19, 2010 7:57:03 PM PDT
S. weiler says:
so I wonder if that is why I am NOT getting this update, lol.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2010 11:25:39 PM PDT
Did AVG also find the virus on your computer? I also run AVG, and it occasionally reports what I call a "false positive". This happens (in my opinion) when AVG has a bug in their virus definitions that flags an otherwise innocuous file as infected. It usually clears up the next time AVG updates its definitions. The first time I saw this AVG reported that I had a virus. I reported it to AVG, and they asked me to run their diagnostics. Which I started to do, but in the meantime AVG updated its definitions and suddenly it wasn't reporting a problem anymore.

Posted on May 20, 2010 12:07:03 AM PDT
S. weiler says:
nope, no problem with the computer itself, it only detects it on my kindle. I am thinking of doing something extreme and using the reset to factory defaults button and just wipe the whole thing out and start over. Has anyone ever done this? Considering how unhelpful the cs was when I called earlier tonight, I don't want to waste even more time on calling them again only to get no help. At this point, I think my only choices are factory reset or just live with what ever is on the kindle staying on it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2010 12:39:53 AM PDT
Johan says:
Resetting to factory settings is easy to do, but beware that it erases everything off your Kindle. So sync first so that all your markers and notes are backed up. You will have to redownload all your Amazon books. If you have non-Amazon content, you will need to make a backup of that before you do the reset.

By the way, are those pesky files INK or LNK extensions?

Posted on May 20, 2010 12:42:47 AM PDT
Johan says:
Further question, what happens when you delete those files?

Posted on May 20, 2010 12:46:56 AM PDT
S. weiler says:
I haven't deleted them yet, was debating if it was safe. when I first looked at them, I thought they were ink, but now the you asked, it could be lnk. I don't have a lot of computer savvy so don't know what the difference is.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2010 12:53:21 AM PDT
Johan says:
.LNK files are shotcuts to foldes or files and normally harmless. Many people accidentally create them when they have mouse trouble. But their location on your kindle and names does not reasonably seem the result of that. Based on their names, I frankly do not believe that they are part of the update downloading and those filenames are not something that you should have on your Kindle. Personally, I would trust my AV software and ask it to clean up. Did you hook up your Kindle to another PC than the one you currently use?

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2010 1:07:19 AM PDT
S. weiler says:
yah, and they showed up there too. Since I was toying with just resetting to factory specs I went ahead and deleted those. My kindle still works so apparently I didn't kill it, lol. We will see what happens over the next few days. I don't have anything on my kindle I can't replace as I never put any other files and folders on it, just stuff I bought off amazon. Thanks for the insight.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  41
Initial post:  May 19, 2010
Latest post:  Mar 31, 2016

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