Saturday, 17 August 2013


We have had some wierd experiences with Amazon and Kindle recently.

A week or so ago, Anita bought a Spanish-English dictionary for her kindle app on her Galaxy Note.  The thing is, she could not see the resulting eBook from her Note, anywhere - not on the cloud nor on the device.  However by using a normal web browser to access her online account, the book became visible.  After a couple of lengthy conversations with Amazon tech support, a new version of the software was released that solved the problem.

In due course this new software loaded itself onto my tablet PC, a Google Nexus.   I didn't pay it much attention, but this morning, on using the Kindle software on this device to idly browse the books I have in the Amazon cloud, my attention was attracted by two books that I didn't think I had bought.  One was " A Modern Chinese-English Dictionary" and the other I have no idea because the characters were in what appeared to be Chinese.

I went to my account online and the books were not listed there, so I couldn't delete them.

While I was fiddling about on my Nexus, I attempted to delete these books, and in doing so, I started a download.  By this time I am a bit suspicious, so I attempted to stop the download.  Although the book seemed to stop downloading, two files with chinese names appeared to be continuing to download.  This is starting to look dodgy.  I turned off the Tablet and re-started it and the downloads stopped.

I uninstalled the Kindle app, and re-installed it and the chinese books are now nowhere to be seen.

I think it's possible that someone might have been trying to hack my tablet.  My suspicious mind is telling me that what I think I have observed is entirely consistent with a hacker planting a fake book in my Kindle database on the tablet, and that this book, once I start to download it, attempts to download and install some kind of trojan horse or other malicious software on my device.


OK, following some contact with Kindle, this looks like some wierd effect related to the fact that Kindle comes complete with 5 dictionaries, including, I guess, a chinese one.  Normally you can't see them in the book list, so when they appear it looks odd.   I'm really not too sure about the second book though - it had no English text in the title at all.  Perhaps it was a thai - chinese dictionary or something


Tim Trent said...

That would make it Thai Chi!!

James Higham said...

It might be back to the dead tree version, Mark.

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