Spotify Ads Were Actually Malware For A While

Image courtesy of Scott Beale/Laughing Squid

Some non-premium Spotify users were greeted with more than just free music while using the service recently: they all got free malware. 

Users of the service’s free, ad-based platform submitted reports to Spotify’s community forum this week notifying the company that the short, 30-second ads that pop-up occasionally were actually malware-laden.

“If you have Spotify Free open, it will launch – and keep on launching – the default internet browser on the computer to different kinds of malware / virus sites,” the user who first notified the company about the issue wrote on the community forum. “Some of them do not even require user action to be able to cause harm.”

According to the original poster, and others who commented, the malware wasn’t specific to any one browser and occurred on Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms.

“Had the same problem, ads popping up in Chrome at random when Spotify is running, sometimes it doesn’t happen for hours, sometimes they pop-up about every 3rd minute,” another user reported. “I’ve searched my computer with five different anti-virus tools, no results.”

“I am having this issue since a few weeks now. Spotify keeps opening ads in my web browser every five to 10 or so minutes,” another user says. “After I close Spotify the pop-under ads stop.”

A rep for Spotify commented on forum, noting that they had identified the issue.

“A small number of users were experiencing a problem with questionable website pop-ups in their default browsers as a result of an isolated issue with an ad on our Free tier,” the company said. “We have now identified the source of the problem and have shut it down. We will continue to monitor the situation. If you see this issue again, please let us know the exact date and time in this thread.”

[via Engadget]

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