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Malicious software is a genuine threat people have to deal with when they go online. While most virus scanners usually offer more than enough protection from the more nefarious viruses, there are still some that slip through the net. One of these popped up on the free version of the popular music streaming service Spotify for a short while, briefly causing trouble for a small amount of Spotify Free users.

This news comes from a post on the official Spotify Community by user tonyonly:

There’s something pretty alarming going on right now with Spotify Free. This started a several hours ago. 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. Some of them do not even require user action to be able to cause harm.

I have 3 different systems (computers) which are all clean and they are all doing this, all via Spotify – I am thinking it’s the Ads in Spotify Free. I hope this has been noticed and Spotify staff are fixing it – fast. But it’s still puzzling something like this can actually happen.

A Twitter user also contacted the company’s tech support account, saying that they’ve had encountered this problem on macOS X as well.

But wait! There’s more: another user on Twitter encountered the very same problem as the users on Windows and macOS, but this particular user’s computer ran on Ubuntu, one of the most popular and widely distributed Linux distros available today:

Luckily, Spotify dealt with the problem almost immediately. Speaking to Engadget, a company representative had this to say:

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. We will continue to monitor the situation.

How the malicious software found its way into the ad serving is unknown as of writing this article. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to scan your PC for viruses and malware. Better safe than sorry.

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Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as assistant news editor and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.