TECH NEWS – A temporary uninstallation is recommended – VideoLAN‘s popular media player is currently dangerous!
VLC Media Player (which we will shorten to VLC from now on) is a popular, widely used, open-source media player that now has a critical security flaw, making it a bit dangerous. CERT-Bund, a German security agency, has discovered the flaw, and they gave it a base vulnerability score of 9.8 out of 10. The patch is in the works for it, but, according to VideoLAN, it’s 60% complete at the moment.
What’s the problem with VLC Media Player? Via it, remote code execution is possible, which in short gives hackers full access to your computer to install, run and modify anything on it – all without you knowing about it! Also, they can use the issue to do denial-of-service attacks, which, for example, could block you from accessing the Internet or several programs. This is a sign of malware, too. The security flaw can be activated by playing an infected .MKV extension file – so if you prefer using this extension, make sure to avoid using recent files with it, at least until the patch is getting completed. (That might take a few days.)
A lot of platforms are affected… all Windows, Linux, and Unix VLC versions have the flaw, but the macOS versions don’t – the Apple users got lucky. Until VideoLAN completes the patch, it’s the best idea to uninstall VLC if you opened an infected MKV file. There are alternatives: KMPlayer, Media Player Classic, Plex Media Player, or even Kodi can play your files or streams.
So even with having an up-to-date antivirus (such as NOD32) or anti-malware (such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which is quite useful in its free version to check your system). Better be safe than sorry with IT security flaws.