How to Check Your Fire Stick for Malware and Viruses
In 2018, rumors began to circulate regarding the Amazon TV and Fire Stick devices’ susceptibility to malware and virus attacks. The main culprit was a crypto-mining worm called ADB.miner, which is known to attack Android smartphones and tablets.
However, the virus name means little, if you don’t know what to do about it. On the bright side, it should be relatively easy to diagnose the problem and debug your streaming gadget. Keep on reading to find out what to do.
Fire Stick Infection – Common Symptoms
For the purposes of this article, we’ll take a closer look at what happens when your Fire Stick is infected by the ADB.miner virus. However, the symptoms are pretty much the same as with any other virus or malware.
First, Fire Stick becomes really slow; it takes a long time to load content, browse through menus, or do basic searches. In this case, a general recommendation is to check for firmware updates and inspect your Wi-Fi speed. If everything is okay there, chances are your Fire Stick is Infected.
Aside from sluggish performance, a Fire Stick may crash, freeze in the middle of playback, or restart itself out of the blue. ADB.miner is designed to corrupt the full computing power of your Fire Stick and may cause the device to overheat. A simple touch test is enough to figure out there’s a problem.
Important Note: If a Test app with an Android icon appears on your Fire Stick, your device has been infected by ADB.miner.
First Line of Defense
As indicated, you should first check for firmware/software updates because outdated OS can also slow down your Fire Stick. Access Settings from the Menu bar and move right to the Device option. Choose About, then Software Version, and select “Check for System Updates”.
If available, download and install the update, restart your device and check if the problem has gone. When a Fire Stick is infected, it’s almost impossible to reach the System Updates window and run the update. Menu-hopping becomes annoyingly slow and it takes forever to download the files.
To take Wi-Fi out of the equation, perform a speed test and see how it runs on your other gadgets. Should there be a problem with your Wi-Fi, it’s something you can fix with a simple modem/router restart.
Fire Stick Malware Scanning
Amazon Fire Stick comes with a built-in option to scan for malware and viruses to get rid of them. However, it might not be turned on by default, so here’s how to activate the protection.
Access Settings, navigate right to the Device menu, and select “Developer Options” under Device. Both “ADB debugging” and “Apps from Unknown Sources” need to be turned on. These options automatically track down malware and remove them from Fire Stick.
Resetting Amazon Fire Stick
If the native scanning software fails, you may need to restore your Fire Stick back to factory settings. This action erases all the data and reinstalls the software from scratch. Afterwards, you’ll need to set up your Fire Stick again, but this is one of the best ways to get rid of stubborn viruses.
Again, navigate to Device, go down to the bottom of the menu, and select “Reset to Factory defaults”. Confirm your choice in the pop-up window and the device will reset in a few minutes. However, you might be able to avoid doing a hard reset.
Using Third-Party Apps
To get the malware-removal software, you first need to install the Downloader app. Go to Search on your Firestick, type “Downloader”, and the apps should appear under the first three suggestions. This will allow you to get software from a URL and run it on your Fire Stick to get rid of the virus.
Once the Downloader installs, type http://get.filelinked.com and select Go to get the APK. After Filelinked installs, select Open from the bottom right corner and enter the code to run the app (the code should be 22222222). Then, you’ll be required to provide a PIN, which is usually 0000, and there’s also a link where you can get the PIN itself.
When you unlock Filelinked, download and install Norton Security and CM Lite. In addition to these apps, you’ll also need Mouse Toggle (for Firesticks) and Set Orientation, to help you use the anti-virus apps. Make sure to enable/run Set Orientation and Mouse Toggle apps before you scan for viruses.
Run Norton Security, set it up and perform a scan. If the software finds infected files, choose to remove it from your device. Then you can run CM Lite to free up some space on your Fire Stick and get rid of other corrupted files.
Note: All suggested apps are available via Filelinked and might look a bit weird when started up. But Set Orientation and Mouse Toggle quickly fix the appearance so you won’t struggle to use the apps.
Fire Stick Penicillin
To end on a positive note, you don’t need to worry too much about viruses unless you like to install unverified software and APKs. But even if there’s a problem, you should be able to fix it fast.
Did you find any viruses or malware on your Fire Stick? Which software did you use to sniff out the danger? Share your experience with the rest of the TJ community in the comments section below.