Music-streaming giant Spotify is at the center of a cybersecurity storm. Users have discovered that the service is placing advertisements that are laced with malware. A Spotify forum users called ‘tonymoly' first raised the concerns. Since then, many other users have found the same thing and are very unhappy with the situation.
Needless to say, this is a PR disaster at best and a market-position threatening situation at worse. Customers are very wary of cybercrime and loss of data and malware attacks are a sure way to lose users.
Users running the free version of Spotify on desktop machines are affected by this problem. The service keeps opening the default browser of the system to malware content. Tonymoly said it has been a consistent problem:
“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.”
As is usually the case, on person's issue has turned into a growing snowball of complaints. Multiple users are now reporting the same thing. This is a cross-platform problem too, with the same malware content found on Windows, Macs, and Linux.
Spotify says it is now looking into the problem, but declined to comment specifically on the matter. The company did say affected users should uninstall the Spotify Free service for now.
The music streaming service is the market leader in this sector. It has got to the top by being one of the first to the party, having a strong feature set, and by having a massive library of songs. However, this kind of problem can be hugely damaging if it continue to escalate.
An official statement from company would be nice. Without it, it is easier to think there is a real problem with the service. Of course, the malware is unintentional on the company's part, but a fix needs to come quick.