Some Spotify Free users were treated to malware-infested ads with their ad-supported music streaming service. Some users have reported on the company’s forum that random, malicious ads pop-up on the default browser while running Spotify’s freemium service.
The Next Web reports that while the original report was based on a Windows 10 machine, the malware also seems to pop up on other operating systems as well including Linux and macOS. Spotify has acknowledged the malvertising issue and told Engadget that the issue is an isolated on and has since “shut it down”.
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“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,” wrote user Tonyonly on the company’scommunity page. “Some of them do not even require user action to be able to cause harm,” he added.
In a reply to the user’s complaint, Spotify said, “We’ve identified an issue where 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. 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.”
In 2011, Spotify faced a similar issue where it displayed malicious ads to some users. The company rectified the problem and issued a public apology.
While Spotify confirms to have fixed the issue, users should still maintain caution and download ad-blockers if running Spotify Free, or shift to the company’s ad-free version instead.