VLC Media Player Banned In India! Chinese Hacking Attacks Is The Reason? How To Download VLC Media Player In India?

VLC Media Player, one of India’s most popular media players across multiple platforms is reportedly banned in the country.

VLC Media Player Banned In India! Chinese Hacking Attacks Is The Reason? How To Download VLC Media Player In India?
VLC Media Player Banned In India! Chinese Hacking Attacks Is The Reason? How To Download VLC Media Player In India?

Among other banned Chinese apps?

A user named Gagandeep Sapra tweeted that when users try to open the VLC Media Player website in India, a message reading “The website has been blocked as per order of Ministry of Electronics and Information technology under IT Act, 2000” is shown.

VLC Media Player has responded to India Today Tech saying that the ban took place on February 13.

It is likely that the platform was banned along with 54 Chinese apps in February 2022

However, VLC Media Player is not backed by a Chinese company. 

It is developed by VideoLAN, a Paris-based firm.

Asking for help

In another tweet in response to the report, it said  “If you are in India, please help us.”

Another user asked how, and they said, “Contact your local government and representatives, to get an answer.” 

It is said that VLC Media Player is banned on all major ISPs including ACTFibernet, Jio, Vodafone-idea and others.

However it can be accessed on phone or laptop using any VPN service.

App still up

Curiously its Android app is still available on the Google Play Store.

On a Windows laptop/desktop, even if you have the offline executable setup file, you will be able to install the tool and use it.

Neither VLC Media Player nor the government has revealed why the media player was taken down.

Used in cyber attacks?

Multiple reports suggest the reason may be that the program was used by China-backed hacking group Cicada for cyber attacks.

Security experts discovered that Cicada used it to deploy malicious malware loaders as part of a long-running cyber attack campaign.

This attack is said to span three continents and has targeted numerous groups involved in political, legal, and religious activities, as well as NGOs.

Various pseudonyms

The hacking has been traced to threat actor Cicada, also known as menuPass, Stone Panda, Potassium, APT10 and Red Apollo, that has been active for over 15 years.

Apparently, there is evidence that Cicada gained access to some of the penetrated networks via a Microsoft Exchange server.

VLC denies claim

This implies that the hackers exploited a known vulnerability on unpatched devices.

Researchers at Symantec, an arm of American semiconductor manufacturing company Broadcom, discovered that after getting access to the target PC, the attacker used the popular VLC Media Player to install a modified loader on compromised devices.

VLC refuted the claims of being used by hackers, saying that the Cicada hackers used a modified version of the VLC Media Player and not the official one available.

The official account responds.

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