What if we try to frighten you with the statement - ‘your private videos are being spied with your Kodi setup.’
What would you do?
You might brush the statement off. But surprisingly, if we trust the latest announcement from Kodi, it's a true statement. Kodi fans have been consistently warned for the vulnerability of the platform, and even at Technadu, we’ve regularly recommended our users to use a trustworthy VPN service to have a secure connection, preferably IPVanish. But recently, Kodi officially has warned its users for the risk of having cyber-attacks and their personal video and music library spied.
It’s terrifying to acknowledge that our most popular streaming app, Kodi, is putting its users in danger of losing their private videos to strangers on the internet, or if we rightly put it, digital eavesdroppers.
Kodi is a highly popular streaming platform with an estimation of 38 million global users. That’s a huge number if we consider how new the streaming content industry is. As per express.co.uk, around 70% of Kodi users are involved in unreliable third-party Kodi Addons that allow premium content, for say Movies & TV shows, for free. There is a wide range of devices that can run Kodi, including the most popular Microsoft’s Xbox and Amazon Fire Stick.
The interesting thing is that Kodi itself is not illegal. But the way the third-party add-ons offer the access to the pirated content is illegal. This interesting line, which is often unknowingly crossed by users, became the reason for the warning. Due to this, apparently, the Kodi users consistently receive warning of the risks of having strangers spy on what they’re doing. Earlier this year, it was first reported by TorrentFreak that the way the Kodi users are running their setup is prone to hack. Due to the standard Kodi setup method, attackers can access the personal information of Kodi users with simple tricks up their sleeves.
Why should you care about this potential hack?
The hack hides behind the remote-control feature based on the web-browser, which apparently lets the Kodi users manage their setup from across the globe. This feature facilitates the developers to monitor their device and promotes piracy. Worse is, apart from looking through a stranger’s add-on collection, its capability to make changes to the Kodi System setting.
This also means it gives the developers the access to enable and disable the output devices like keyboard and mice. Also, it can stream your video and music library to a stranger across in a different country with just a few clicks. This explains how if you have some sensitive footage on your Kodi setup, it could be accessed by developers. And, they can use it to their interest. That’s scary, isn’t it?
Is there a solution?
But here, we’re not scaremongering. We’re not here so you can stop using Kodi for your privacy. At Technadu, we always concentrate on the solution and the good news is that this problem has some quick fixes. First, if you haven’t already, put up a username and password for your Kodi. The username and password by default stay ‘kodi’ for both the fields.
Here are the step by step instructions to set your password;
- Click on the Settings icon on the home screen.
- Navigate to the Service Settings and click on it.
- Click on the Gear Icon at the bottom and make sure it's either turned to 'standard' or 'advanced.'
- Now, click on the Control button on the left side of the screen.
- Now pick a username and password of your choice.
Done. You’re now protected!
- Also, You can if you don’t use the feature, turn off the remote-control web interface.
To be straightforward on what we've discovered through our reliable sources in the Tech industry; every DLNA compliant media server has the "vulnerability" and can be hacked. Furthermore, when we asked about this issue to an expert, he told us - " If you switched remote features ON and didn't care to password protect it, then the vulnerability is on you."
Due to these types of news articles, it might often feel that Kodi setup has problems. Well, it doesn't! The problem is the unawareness of users who do not protect their media servers. We highly recommend that you password protect your Kodi with the above-mentioned method, or if you're lazy like most of us are, subscribe to IPVanish and let it take care of your security problems.
Stay secure, stay happy.