It’s been reported that Spotify Free for desktop computers has been causing several issues for users. The music streaming service was apparently launching malware websites on users’ web browsers.
The problem with Spotify Free was first reported by a user with the handle ‘tonyonly’ on the Spotify community forum. “If you have Spotify Free open, it will launch — and keep launching- the default internet browser on the computer to different kinds of malware/virus sites,” tonyonly wrote on his user report.
The vulnerability may have occured on a Windows 10 computer, but it has also affected other operating systems including macOS and Ubuntu, according to The Next Web. Users quickly took to Twitter to vent their frustrations over the vulnerability and it appeared that the problem was caused by malware-infected ads on Spotify Free.
Spotify Free for desktop computers usually displays banner ads at the bottom of the app window. When an ad opens up on the Spotify Free app, it will automatically open the user’s web browser and load a malicious website even if the user didn’t click on the ad.
“Users with anti-virus software will have been protected,” Spotify said, according to the BBC. “We quickly removed all third party display ads in order to protect users and ensure Spotify was safe to use.”
Spotify has recently released a full statement saying that it has “identified the source of the problem and have shut it down.” The company says that it will continue to monitor the situation.
This is the second time that Spotify Free’s ads have been infected with malware. The first occurrence of this issue was reported back in 2011 when Spotify Free was automatically displaying malicious ads without the user’s permission, according to Engadget. The Swedish-based company was able to quickly resolve the issue back then, and the company issued a public apology to its users.