Spotify is used to fending off criticism of its free service on royalties grounds, but yesterday it fielded questions about something more worrying: malware. Several users reported that Spotify’s desktop app was launching their web browser and directing it to nefarious websites. “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,” claimed one user, reporting the issue on Spotify’s community site. “Some of them do not even require user action to be able to cause harm… 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.” Spotify has acknowledged the issue, blaming “an isolated issue with an ad on our free tier” and promising that “We have now identified the source of the problem and have shut it down. We will continue to monitor the situation.” And while some may jape about any incentive for Spotify free users to upgrade to Premium being good, malware sneaking into the client via ads will rightly be taken very seriously within Spotify.

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