Published On: Mon, Apr 8th, 2024

Surprise Fire TV Stick block stops you using popular feature – Amazon working on a fix

If you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick plugged into your TV, you might have noticed that one of its latest new features has stopped working. Earlier this year, Amazon added the ability for you to use your phone or tablet to type in your login information, password, and other details by scanning a QR code on your TV screen, speeding up what is usually a laborious typing experience if only using the Fire TV Stick remote.

But according to a report from AFTVnews, Amazon has blocked the use of the handy new feature due to security concerns. Simply scanning the code with your phone brought up a virtual remote on your phone screen and didn’t require you to have any specific app installed, but tech firm Green Line Analytics has claimed that if someone was to get hold of the QR code, they could take control of your Fire TV Stick and install unwanted apps.

The security blunder is reportedly in part due to the fact the device scanning the QR code doesn’t need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the Fire TV Stick, and you don’t need to login to your Amazon account.

Even though it is unlikely any hackers would be able to snap your personal QR code on your TV screen to gain control of your device, the security loophole appears to have been enough for Amazon to pull the feature. Currently when you scan the QR code to use your phone as an input device, a message on the screen reads, “This page is currently down for scheduled maintenance. Please check back later.”

“We appreciate the work of independent researchers to help bring issues to our attention,” an Amazon spokesperson told AFTVnews. “While we’re still reviewing this research, we immediately disabled the QR feature at issue for Fire TV customers, which fully mitigates the scenario described by the researchers. We look forward to bringing this feature back for customers soon.”

Amazon Fire TV Stick devices are incredibly popular in UK homes as they are an easy and affordable way to stream films and TV shows on your TV. Simply plug one in and connect it to your Wi-Fi, and you can stream Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and dozens more apps with ease.

It’s good to see Amazon act to improve the security of this useful new feature, even if it appears it would have been unlikely that many people would have fallen victim to crafty hackers in this case.

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