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I haven't seen anything about this, so I assume that computer viruses aren't a danger to the Kindle 2?  I was experimenting with internet access and email access on my Kindle 2 this morning and it started me wondering if there's any danger (and if there's not then I'd be curious as to why  :) )
 

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I don't think computer viruses are a danger to kindles since the software and other stuff is different (?) But I wouldn't rule out a virus made specifically to adversely affect the Kindle...
 

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I believe the Kindle OS is based on Linux. . . .so a virus would have to be designed for Linux.  Not to say it can't happen, but I think it's unlikely.
 

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The Kindle software is proprietary, so no, at least for the time being I think it would be pretty difficult to get a virus on there.
 

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The only risk is if you have the Kindle plugged in to the computer when you contract a virus that erases stuff off hard drives/attached storage.

There shouldn't be anything out there right now that can affect the Kindle specifically.
 

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Good question, that has flitted through my ancient brain a couple of times, particularly since I only download via computer, although I do have a mac so that helps.
 

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Doubtful.  Note that the Kindle does ask you before downloading anything from the internet.  Plus, it would have to be targeted specifically to the Kindle; even a Linux virus (which is still incredibly rare) would probably just download to your documents folder where it couldn't be executed.  The number of Kindles out there is so small that it doesn't make a very good target, and there is very little to be gained from such a virus anyway, since Kindles are often not continuously connected or used primarily as an internet access device.
 

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marianner said:
Doubtful. Note that the Kindle does ask you before downloading anything from the internet. Plus, it would have to be targeted specifically to the Kindle; even a Linux virus (which is still incredibly rare) would probably just download to your documents folder where it couldn't be executed. The number of Kindles out there is so small that it doesn't make a very good target, and there is very little to be gained from such a virus anyway, since Kindles are often not continuously connected or used primarily as an internet access device.
^^^ Exactly this.

Even if you did somehow transfer a virus to your Kindle (it's never going to happen, but let's just say it did, theoretically), the Kindle wouldn't know what to do with it. It can't run it, so nothing would happen.

I don't doubt that someone clever enough could create a virus for the Kindle (or a Linux virus that would target the Kindle), or some malicious programming of some kind, but for what purpose? What could you possibly achieve? I'd be much more concerned about someone hacking into your Amazon account, or WhisperNet screwing up, or something like that.
 

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The most likely vector for an attack might be via your PC. A malicious program there might sit and wait for you to connect to your Kindle via the USB, then upload stuff onto it or read files off of it. I don't know if there's much of interest that could be grabbed from the Kindle's file system. I suppose it would be possible to upload something like a patch file that would be installed if/when you did a reset of your Kindle.

But as alluded to above, I doubt that the serious crackers out there would waste their time on accessing the relatively few Kindles out there when the available number Windows PCs must be several orders of magnitude greater (and likely easier to hack  ::) ).
 

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I had wondered about that on occasion myself.So it is good to read these responses :)
 

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reemixx said:
^^^ Exactly this.

Even if you did somehow transfer a virus to your Kindle (it's never going to happen, but let's just say it did, theoretically), the Kindle wouldn't know what to do with it. It can't run it, so nothing would happen.

I don't doubt that someone clever enough could create a virus for the Kindle (or a Linux virus that would target the Kindle), or some malicious programming of some kind, but for what purpose? What could you possibly achieve? I'd be much more concerned about someone hacking into your Amazon account, or WhisperNet screwing up, or something like that.
I hope you both are correct! But I have often thought this about many many viruses, even regular computer ones. What is the point? What are they trying to achieve by making and sending out viruses? Is it just some punk with too much time on his hands or is there an actual point someone is trying to make when they create a virus?
 

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koolmnbv said:
I hope you both are correct! But I have often thought this about many many viruses, even regular computer ones. What is the point? What are they trying to achieve by making and sending out viruses? Is it just some punk with too much time on his hands or is there an actual point someone is trying to make when they create a virus?
Some viruses are propagated for more or less the same reason as graffiti: a rebellious act perpetrated by people who are dissatisfied with their life, trying to show off to their peers, etc. More often than not these are so-called "script kiddies" who don't have the skills to create anything sophisticated on their own, but can take existing viruses and find ways to get them distributed to the unsuspecting and unprotected.

Others are more truly criminal in nature, either trying to steal data that can be used to the perpetrators' profit, to hijack other computers' processing time and internet access to promulgate spam, or to damage companies, people, nations, etc. that they have some issue with via denial of service attacks, information theft, and so forth. It is this latter type of attack that is the most worrisome, but is also the type that is probably the less likely to target Kindles, since those with the ability to do these things can more likely accomplish what they want more effectively via PCs or web servers.
 

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Thanks for explaining Nogdog, this has always confused me.

I guess it's the same with any criminal activity it just seems SO unnecessary. Cruel for them to do that to people that truly need/use their pc's for work/school etc.
 

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koolmnbv said:
Thanks for explaining Nogdog, this has always confused me.

I guess it's the same with any criminal activity it just seems SO unnecessary. Cruel for them to do that to people that truly need/use their pc's for work/school etc.
And the sad thing is that many of the people who do it could use those skills and the amount of time and effort they put into it for legitimate purposes and get paid well for it and actually do something constructive for society. *sigh*
 

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I may just be cynical, but I wonder how many viruses are written by the sellers of anti-virus software just to create a demand for their product.
 

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BruceS said:
I may just be cynical, but I wonder how many viruses are written by the sellers of anti-virus software just to create a demand for their product.
From what I know about it (which is by no means complete) there is a sizable network of hackers/crackers out there creating mal-ware for fun, profit, and/or politics; so I doubt that any anti-virus company really has any need to create them. Besides, the risk of doing so would seem illogical to me: since there are people out there already creating a market for their products, why risking their entire business by creating their own and hoping nobody (e.g. a disgruntled employee) should decide to leak information to the press, or outright sell their story to "60 Minutes" et al?

I mean, that would be as stupid as mortgage companies making home loans that they knew were too risky, and then being able to get banks and insurance companies to back those loans. :eek:
 
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BruceS said:
I may just be cynical, but I wonder how many viruses are written by the sellers of anti-virus software just to create a demand for their product.
I write a weekly column on computer security and I can assure you there are FAR too many hackers and scammers out there writing viruses and malware as it is, and no anti-virus company needs to have any written to create demand. If you want to blame anyone for the high amound of malware out there, blame Microsoft for putting out crappy software that constantly needs to have security holes patched.

Anti-virus companies spend an enormous amount of resources on tracking and identifying threats and coming up with ways to fight them. Trust me, they don't need to do anything as unethical as creating their own malware to drum up business!
 
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