According to reports on Spotify’s forums and Twitter, adverts in the free version of Spotify have been installing malware on some users’ computers. Free streaming music is a beautiful thing; free malware, less so.
The Next Web spotted the issues, which was first reported by users on Spotify’s forums. Other people then took to Twitter to explain the issues in more detail.
According to reports, malware is hitting anyone on a desktop, including computers running Windows, Linux, and MacOS. It seems that running Spotify Free causes some users’ browsers to open websites from time to time. Those websites then try and install malware, which can do all kinds of bad things to a computer.
Spotify has told TNW that it’s looking into the issue. In theory, it should be easy to resolve this particular problem — just remove the malicious ads — but the bigger problem of malware in Spotify ads is harder for the company to solve. It serves different ads to users based on location and demographic, most likely using some kind of ad exchange.
If you’re running Spotify Free, the simplest solution is to stop using the program (and maybe uninstall or log out) until Spotify confirms it’s solved the issue. Otherwise, you can use an ad blocker, which should at least mitigate any problems if Spotify does open malicious websites.