New Delhi: The quiet ban on one of India’s most popular open source, cross-platform VLC media player website by the government in India may have been the result of a ‘China connection’ as a hacker group with Beijing links infiltrated VLC Media Player with a malware to hack devices. The VLC Media Player website no longer works in India and users cannot download the program’s exe file (windows executable file) for installation anymore.
According to cyber-security researchers at Symantec, the Cicada victims are found in India, the US, Canada, Israel, Hong Kong and several other countries. In April, the Cicada group attacked several countries, targeting high-profile victims. The researchers at Symantec found that the China-based attackers used VLC Media Player to install a malware on compromised devices.
VLC media player is developed by the VideoLAN project. VLC supports many audio and video compression methods and file formats, including DVD-Video, Video CD and streaming protocols. The VLC Media Player has been banned by all major internet service providers in the country. However, the video streaming provider can be accessed on phone or laptop using any VPN service. It is also available for download on Apple App store and Google Play store.
It is able to stream media over computer networks and can transcode multimedia files. VLC, like most multimedia frameworks, has a very modular design which makes it easier to include modules/plugins for new file formats, codecs, interfaces, or streaming methods. There’s no official word from the government yet on why the access to VLC website has been restricted in the country.