Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Beware the Grooveshark

Which shark species presents the greatest danger to man kind? The Great White? The Tiger Shark? Perhaps the Bull or Mako? Nope. None of the above.

It's the Grooveshark music streaming website. Hyperlink intentionally omitted because I'm too afraid of it to visit or link to it at this point, following not 1, not 2, but 3 known laptop meltdowns in just 2 weeks using the site.

My colleague Ben and I both got stuck on the site, which seemed like the latest evolution in the streaming music genre of websites, introducing an iTunes like user interface and and wide variety of searchable songs that you can assemble into shareable playlists. Sounds great.

And it was, until my computer got KO'd by the nastiest malware infection I've ever witnessed - a piece of work known as SecurityTool - and ultimately had to be re-imaged. Ben, smug during the additional week of his Groovesharking, got it later and was also laid up for two days sans-laptop while IT went to work on the hard-drive.

I'm sharing this so other folks avoid this fate,but also as a plea to corporate IT policies around corporate America. Just let people have iTunes alright? At my company, the double-secret IT security policy is the equivalent of the War on Drugs - a costly and futile mission under the auspice of public safety that has the unintended effect of sending people under ground for entertainment and productivity tools that aren't regulated by reputable purveyors of web-based services. In this most predictable of ironies, it causes as many problems as it tries to prevent.

The bad stuff is always one step ahead of the firewall. As soon as IT blocked Pandora, I replaced it with LastFM and Imeem. When they banned Imeem (which never crashed my machine) I moved onto Grooveshark and had this encounter.

Now none of this would have happened if they'd trusted me with iTunes in the first place.


  1. The real culprit here is Adobe Flash, Adobe is known for its security vulnerabilities, and this bug affected many other websites that use Flash heavily.

  2. As the commenter above states, this issue is caused by a vulnerability in Adobe's Flash client. In our case, the offending bit was embedded within an advertisement from one of our ad providers. We're working with their team to make sure this doesn't continue. Believe me when I say we are just as angry something like this happened and are taking rigorous measures to make sure it doesn't happen in the future. My sincerest apologies to you and anyone else affected by this.

  3. The comment above is false. They have done nothing yet to prevent this from happening. My laptop was almost destroyed by the same malware from an ad on their website just 3 days ago. I've been in the game many, many years and this was by far the worst malware/rootkit I've ever encounted. After two full days of domination, I won the war against this nasty software. I'm now back up and running better than ever but i'll never go to grooveshark website again and I will never stop my crusade to keep people from that site.

  4. Since using I have no longer been able to watch videos on youtube without running an intensive virus scan first. What a shame that Imeem sold out. Grooveshark can kiss their site goodbye if this keeps up. I know if they don't fix it soon I won't be going back. Luckily my PC didn't crash rather it was generating random popups even when firefox or IE weren't even open. Be cautious Guys!

  5. Yeah they STILL haven't gotten their crap together. More people have been reporting problems in the last few days. Seems like they could care less. Nice knowing ya grooveshark!

  6. yup, unfortunately, my workstation at work got infected today. it was a nice site but i will have to say goodbye to you, grooveshark :(

  7. Happened to me at work today too... F that site!!

  8. As almost everyone else said, the WORST set of viruses I've ever had to deal with - not just 1 malware, there were many problems. Had to do a full factory recovery.

    F grooveshark and F not having any fking sites to listen to music on.

  9. WTF grooveshark? I just got a popup tonight about my computer being infected while on grooveshark (obviously malware trying to install). I was pissed.

  10. Wow, same thing just happened here. I'd used grooveshark a few months ago with no problems. Tonight I couldn't get grooveshark to work with NoScript in Firefox (kept saying problem playing song.) So I loaded IE 8 and went to grooveshark, and boom the malware install prompt appeared. Rather than click anything, I went to task manager and did Kill Process Tree on iexplore.exe. At this point, I have no idea whether the malware got a chance to install itself or not. Pretty lame.

  11. I fell asleep while listening to a song on Grooveshark, only to be awakened by my antivirus alerting me to multiple file infections. No user interaction was required to infect my machine with the rogue XP Antispyware 2010 and other malware. After using several malware removal tools, my machine is clean again but I won't be visiting Grooveshark again anytime soon.

  12. Ehm... sandboxie anyone?

  13. well isn't it funny? as it's an attack using a security hole on adobe flash, it can be used by attackers against any website using advertisements. or websites can be put up just to affect computers, so you open a website from google and your system is infected. then you could begin blaming google. meh..

    it's not the site, just say goodbye to adobe flash.

    Darkwing Duck

  14. I don't understand why when so many people write free programs to do whatever, nobody can bother to write one which kills flash while on specific sites. I dunno how to write it or I would.I've seen specific add-ons etc which kill all ads in different messenger sites,why not one for music streaming sites?!? We are all affected by this sleazy idiocy. {{{p.s. if you personally know a maleware creator;kill them.Seriously-do the world a favor!}}}

  15. Same thing happened to me recently. I used Grooveshark for the longest time. Then my computer got infected. Couldn't open any of my applicaions or anything. After finally "winning" the battle against whatever I was infected with, half om my system files are gone. I'm prolly gonna have to re-install Windows now. Sorry, Grooveshark, but I'm never going back.

  16. I've been a HUGE fan of Grooveshark for the past 2 years ago. Since Pandora was banned at work, it was the perfect alternative - until the Security Essentials warning popped up. It took over my entire computer and luckily Malwarebytes was able to get the Trojan virus removed before it did too much damage. I wasn't so lucky the second time. My entire system crashed and it took a week for the IT guys to get the virus completely removed. It happened a third time this morning, and I quickly removed it with Malware before it crashed. It wasn't until I realized Grooveshark is the ONLY web-based site I access throughout the day at work so it HAD to be the source of the problem. From the looks of things, I'm not alone and will be alerting everyone I know not to use it. Thanks for the insight, what a nightmare!!

  17. I have been using Grooveshark for a few months now since Playlist changed. I started noticing my computer going extremely slow when I would stream music. Virus scans would find low risk items on my computer, but nothing else until this morning. Luckily, Norton's found the TROJAN that Grooveshark must have put on my computer. I generally only use Grooveshark and Facebook when I'm online, and I know the chances of it being Facebook are slim to none. Won't be going back there, but all my music! Sad to lose it.

  18. Grooveshark has been my go to music site for maybe over a year now. I like how you can pick and choose from a large selection what song you want to hear.

    Recently i've been getting those "you've been infected" pop ups as well as my nornton letting me know they've removed some malware.

    I really don't want to say goodbye to grooveshark, but this is getting out of control!

  19. Redirected to a "malicious site" (AVG stopped it) after using the "add all" button on several occasions.

    Today opened grooveshark and walked out of the room, came back to find a dialog box open for a file download.

    goodbye grooveshark, have fun in the website leper colony that I'll never visit.

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