Spotify’s free desktop app was producing malware-generating ads, apparently hitting Windows, Ubuntu and MacOS customers.
Spotify has acted swiftly to fix a malware problem with its free desktop client, following customer complaints of a surge in suspicious behaviour.
Originally posted by Tonyonly on the company’s community message board, the issue began on Tuesday and, for those affected, very strange behaviour was detected on their computers.
Several users went on Twitter to share their experiences, with one listing a helpful log of the interactions between browsers and dodgy sites.
PSA: uninstall Spotify free, their ads are plagued with malware right now. pic.twitter.com/DUOqDrnDUZ
— Volp (@VolpRS) October 5, 2016
Of course, Volp was not alone.
@SpotifyCares Yesterday the Spotify Free software started launching malware on my Mac's Safari on its own. Many have the same experience atm
— Taru Kalvi (@tarukalvi) October 5, 2016
Had a malware on my ubuntu desktop that kept opening random ads on my browser every minute. Luckily @Spotify client was easy to uninstall.
— Samu Nuutamo (@SamuNuutamo) October 5, 2016
— Keifer. (@HeyKeifer) October 4, 2016
Spotify is my new favourite malware .. 👍👍👍👍 pic.twitter.com/2DmlKV3E2n
— MSWindowsinside (@MSWindowsinside) October 4, 2016
Without initiating it themselves, default browsers would open up on “malware/virus sites”, with Tonyonly noting how “puzzling” it was that such a problem could happen.
Claiming this may have happened to users before, the poster said it’s both dangerous and “amazing” how a fix had not been produced.
However, Spotify was on it quick, saying:
“A small number of users have experienced 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. We have now identified the source of the problem and have shut it down.”
It appears the malware has disappeared for now, with Spotify saying it will “continue to monitor the situation” in future.