Amazon has released an update for Fire TV Stick owners that fixes some security issues. The company rolled out the software update, which patches three separate security vulnerabilities that could make the streaming device susceptible to malware, on 4 May.
The trio of security flaws were reportedly discovered by cybersecurity company Bitdefender, which shared its findings to the Amazon Fire TV team through its Bug Bounty program. According to the Mirror, one of the security bugs made the streaming device vulnerable to a hacking method known as PIN brute forcing.
A brute force attack is essentially when a hacker attempts to gain access to an account by guessing the login credentials through continuous trial and error. Once the correct password is discovered, the hacker can gain access to a person’s account.
Happily for Amazon Fire TV owners, the tech giant was quick to react to the cybersecurity alert and promptly patched the security bugs in a software update that was released before anyone reported any issues.
“Amazon has released fixes for these issues on Fire TV devices and the Fire TV remote app, and the company has no evidence that this issue has been used against customers. Bitdefender has been working closely with the Amazon Fire TV team through all stages of vulnerability disclosure. We would like to extend our thanks for the prompt response time, communication, transparency and escalation,” Bitdefender told the Mirror.
How to update your Fire Stick TV
If you own an Amazon Fire Stick TV, you don’t have to worry about looking for the software update as the device automatically checks and downloads new OS updates when connected to the internet.
To check whether it has, you need to go to ‘Settings’ on your device, then click ‘My Fire TV’ followed by ‘About’. You should then see an option that says ‘Check for System Update’, if there’s an update available you can install it right away.
When installing the update, make sure that you have a stable internet connection and that you close all apps that are running in the background as the device will need to restart itself. Also, don’t unplug the device while it’s downloading, and close any apps.
Like many devices, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick often has software updates that can include upgrades to features, such as speeding up the interface, response time and general usability, for example. But when security bugs are identified, these updates can be a little more urgent – especially when it means that your device is at risk of being hacked.
For its part, Amazon says it takes security seriously. “Security is foundational to how we design devices, features, and experiences. We have released fixes for this issue on Fire TV devices and the Fire TV remote app. We have no evidence that this issue has been used against customers, and we appreciate the work of researchers who help bring potential issues to our attention,” a spokesperson from Amazon told the Mirror.
We’re fans of Amazon Fire TV devices, including the newer Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. When we reviewed it, we thought that it was one of the best streaming devices we’d come across. It’s great for Amazon Prime members, and Alexa smart home owners, although we didn’t appreciate the ads on the home screen – but then, they help to make it so affordable.