Spotify has been serving computer viruses to listeners
Spotify has been found to be serving malware to listeners who use the free version of its service, with its adverts directing PC users to virus-riddled websites.
Users of the music streaming software reported that the program would continually open their default web browser to load websites infested with malware.
The issue affected users of Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, leading to complaints on the Spotify Community website and Twitter. The malware websites, some of which attempt to install viruses automatically without the user clicking anything, appear to have nothing to do with the advert in question.
The problem appears to be associated with a single advert on Spotify, which the company said it had removed after discovering the problem.
"We've identified an issue where a small number of users were experiencing a problem with questionable website pop-ups in their default browsers as a result of an isolated issue with an ad on our Free tier. We have now identified the source of the problem and have shut it down," Spotify said.
Spotify has tens of millions of users on the free version of its service, which is supported by adverts that play in between songs.
The company recently announced that it had more than 100 million users, although around 40 million of these are using the paid-for version.
It isn't the first time Spotify users have been hit by malware: a similar incident occurred in 2011, when a virus masquerading as Windows security software was shown to listeners.