Users of the ad-based Spotify free service have been advised to stop using the service and uninstall the Application as the service is doing more than displaying ads, it’s installed malware on to Desktop computers affecting browsers and putting the systems at risk of attack.
According to users in the Spotify Community, the malware causes the adverts to not open display more frequently, but causes the Computer’s default browser to launch the adverts continuously, even after they are closed. Due to this being ‘HTML based’ advertising malware, this does affect users of both Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS.
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.
Whilst at the moment it’s unclear what exactly is causing the problems, there’s been reports of it affecting users on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, as well as OS X 10.7-10.11 and macOS Sierra. However, the biggest problem at the moment is there’s no current fix for the problem, so we advise users to completely uninstall Spotify from their machines, including the use of a system cache cleaner such as CCleaner (or users on macOS Sierra can use the Optimised Storage tool built in), then get their system checked by an anti-virus solution, we recommend a quick scan with ClamXav for the Mac, or naturally use your installed Virus solution on Windows.
Spotify have responded to users via their Twitter accounts to state they are “looking in to the issue”, however that’s not a fix, so we do recommend not using Spotify Free until this is resolved.
It’s worth noting that Paid Spotify services are naturally not affected by this issue.