Amazon stops Fire encryption, leaving them vulnerable
While the world of tech is currently obsessing over security and encryption, given that authorities are trying to get in the backdoor with Apple smartphones and more, Amazon have made a very odd decision to removed the ability to encrypt data stored on Fire tablets, and Kindle e-readers.
With zero fanfare, Amazon issued the latest update to the Fire operating software, which basically leaves any date, private documents, and a host of other sensitive information, weakened and more vulnerable to attacks. And if you hook your Fire up to a laptop to transfer data between the two, there's even more trouble there.
Before, you were allowed to encrypt your Fire's storage, but now, this latest update says that you'll have to save your data, or wait to install a new Fire OS. It is a very strange decision indeed.
Now, if you have a Fire tablet or Kindle e-reader, if you get hacked or phished, there's a world of trouble awaiting you, helped in no small part to Amazon's weakening of their skimmed version of the Android OS.
An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement: "In the fall when we released Fire OS 5, we removed some enterprise features that we found customers weren't using. All Fire tablets’ communication with Amazon’s cloud meet our high standards for privacy and security including appropriate use of encryption."
Normally, a software update such as this, promises increased security, but now, you've got the choice of getting the new OS, or keeping the old one to secure your data.
With Amazon publicly supporting Apple in their fight with the FBI, with one key figure on record as saying; "we believe that you cannot have a connected business, or an internet-connected business and not make security and protection of your customers your number one priority - encryption plays a very, very important role in that," this seems all the more peculiar.
While refusing the OS, that also presents a problem regarding security issues, as older vulnerabilities will stay unpatched, but the new OS will leave you with a different set of vulnerabilities.
Amazon have got some questions to answer, and sharpish.