Kodi is a fantastic resource for people wanting to do a wide variety of different things with media. And some of the top rated Kodi addons have indeed become hugely popular. But there is a downside to this highly engaging system…Kodi can make your computer or tablet device rather vulnerable to malware.
Sorry to break that to you, but that’s just the reality of the situation! So in this article, we’ll look at some of the malware issues related to Kodi, and how to avoid them.
The first particularly common form of malware on Kodi is it cryptojacking. This is becoming increasingly common due to the growing value and popularity of cryptocurrency. While Kodi is vulnerable to this form of piggybacking onto your computer, it is by no means the only way that cryptojacking can occur.
Cryptojacking occurs when a skilled hacker is able to tap into a host machine and mine cryptocurrency without the knowledge of that user. It is certainly less malignant than other forms of malware, and will not result in your personal details being stolen, or any malicious viruses being installed on your machine. But it can and will negatively impact on the performance of your computer, and in extreme cases can result in it crashing completely.
You are definitely at risk of cryptojacking if you run Kodi, but this risk is magnified when you install the application on the Amazon Fire TV device. But you can take steps to protect yourself against cryptojacking on Kodi, for example by utilising an add-on such as TVAddon’s No-Coin Scan.
This software is similar to a virus and malware checker, and will enable you to cleanse your system of any cryptojacking or identify that none is currently occurring. But you must be aware of this threat, as cryptojacking is only likely to become more prominent in the future.
Another major form of malware on the Kodi system is often described as subtitle malware. This exploit only emerged a couple of years ago, when researchers at the security firm Check Point published a proof of concept video illustrating that subtitle malware can be produced. The concept gets its name from the hiding of malware in subtitle files, which then later attack your computer.
Attacks via subtitle malware occur when you download the subtitle file onto your computer from a subtitle repo. This can be particularly pernicious and difficult to detect, as Kodi will typically automate this download process, meaning that users often have no idea that the malware is infecting their setup.
Detection can, therefore, be tricky, and it is also difficult to get rid of subtitle malware once it is installed. Kodi will often treat the repose as a trusted source, meaning that neither the system itself, not any antivirus software installed, will notice the malware as it infects your computer.
However, there is some good news in this area, as Kodi has now reportedly closed the loophole completely. Nonetheless, it is important to note that you will still be at risk from subtitle malware if you’re not running the latest version of the application. And as Kodi currently does not update automatically, it is vital to check which version of the app you are indeed running, regardless of the system that you are using.
Updating Cody is relatively straightforward, but it must be considered a reasonable criticism of the technology that it fails to update itself automatically. Do beware of this, because it can make you vulnerable to subtitle malware.
DDoS Botnet Attacks
DDoS became big news when the so-called Lizard Squad group of black hat hackers managed to bring down the PlayStation network on Christmas Day in 2014. However, DDoS attacks are not limited to video game consoles and websites.
In February 2017, the Exodus add-on for Kodi was found to be vulnerable to such attacks. This is quite a complicated and technical issue, but what can be stated and explained in a straightforward fashion is that Exodus is a hugely popular add-on. Eventually, it emerged that the software included malicious code and that other Kodi add-ons could be vulnerable to this issue as well.
It now seems that there are other Kodi add-ons that could be used to engage in DDoS attacks, or even distribute viruses and malware. The best way to deal with this is to be extremely careful before downloading any Kodi add-ons and to stick to software that is known to be safe.
The good news is that most security experts agree that the chances of being infected with viruses or malware from using Kodi are pretty small. But taking precautions, as described here, is definitely recommended.