Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads
Updated Users of the ad-supported version of Spotify were hit by a malware-based attack on Thursday.
The assault takes advantage of a Java-based exploit to deposit Trojan horse malware or exploit kits on vulnerable Windows machines. Only users of the free version of the music streaming service seem to be affected.
In response, Spotify pulled its ad feed on Friday while it investigating the problem.
We're currently investigating and have pulled all third party display ads that could have caused the problem until we locate the specific advert.
El Reg became aware of the problem on Thursday, following a tip-off from a reader in UK academia. JANET (Joint Academic Network) is reportedly looking into incidents of viral warnings linked to Spotify. "We're not investigating any specific infections at this moment, but our community is asking for more info," it said.
The malware was served up via malicious third-party adverts, a factor that means the threat is not persistent and may be region specific. This makes it harder for anti-virus firms to pin down the outbreak.
But the problems was far from isolated, with several Twitter users reporting the same issue over the last day or so. Both Avast and AVG are detecting the exploit.
Netcraft has a precis of the attack, which is still under investigation, here. ®
Privoxy might be able to go between Spotify and the 'net - not sure as I've never used Spotify...
Can block ads
The ads may appear within the Spotify client, but at least some are displayed using Internet Explorer. This is how malicious adverts could utilise Java. You can increase the security of Spotify by increasing the security of Internet Explorer. If you don’t use IE to browse the web directly or use another application that embeds IE at the same time you use Spotify, set IE’s security level for the Internet zone to High. That should block active content.
Better yet, don’t use Windows. Use Linux, BSD or Solaris and run Spotify using Wine. Just don’t install any Windows browser plug-ins under the same WINEPREFIX as Spotify.
Been a major problem on ebay as well
And Ebay's repsonse has been that it isnt responsible for the content of the ad streams that it sells to spam all over the pages!