Mining malware is everywhere today as more and more IoT devices move into our houses and workplaces, now there is one variant that can turn a TV into a crypto mining rig.
Even TV’s are Getting Sick Now
It has been reported that instances of mining virus malware infection are up 4000% this year and blackhats are infecting everything internet capable to increase their fortunes. Yesterday it was Apple re-writing their app guidelines to explicitly forbid developers from sneaking malware into the app store, and today its malware that can take over televisions via Amazon Fire.
The malicious app called ADB.Miner targets all manner of Android platforms including Amazon Fire products. It’s fairly simple to tell if a television has been infected because the malware sucks up processing speed which will bring the Fire TV to a near standstill. This will be accompanied by the green Android appearing on the screen and a notification that reads “TEST”.
The app is installed as a “Test” app going by the name “com.google.time.timer.” and can only really find its way into your system through unofficial sources, and for that to happen the Fire TV’s developer option must be enabled. xda-developers has posted a detailed description of the malware’s behavior.
Infection with this malware is a pretty simple thing to remedy by using any one of the procedures listed at AFTVnews. By far the simplest if most brutal is to perform a factory reset of the system which as annoying as it may be will get rid of the nasties for sure. Another method suggested for advanced users is to run the app Total Commander from the Amazon appstore, this will rid you of the malware but may not get at any traces it may leave behind.
Be Vigilant Against Malware
To prevent further infection set both “ADB debugging” and “Apps from Unknown Sources” to off in the systems device menu, these settings are off by default so if they’ve never been changed it should be safe from malware infection. On top of these measures, the number one, sure-fire way to stop your system picking up malware is to verify whatever is side-loaded into the TV is clean.
Avoiding infection from malware mining is hard now but will become increasingly more difficult as the IoT becomes more and more a part of modern life. As if refrigerators and thermostats mining Monero for some bad actor half a world away isn’t bad enough, even internet providers have been caught injecting browser-based mining software on customer’s computers. Outside of heading for a cabin in the hills and living off of the grid the only option is constant vigilance.
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