The University has issued a warning to students and staff that use of Spotify, the music sharing software, may be to blame for a sharp rise in the number of computers being attacked.

The University\’s computer services have said that cases of malware, which is \”malicious software designed to disrupt or damage computer systems,\” has increased dramatically this week.

In an email sent out to all staff, a member of the ICT support team said, \”I am writing to warn staff to avoid using Spotify software and to take care which web sites and links you follow.

\”This afternoon we are seeing a growing problem with compromised computers, which now no longer work, after people have followed fake security messages.\”

\”…if any pop-ups are displayed indicating that you have a hardware problem then please DO NOT click on these.\”

In the past week, a number of students have suffered when their hard-drives have been completely wiped, or just stopped working.

It had been unclear up until now why so many computers were being attacked, but \”early evidence suggests that this Malware is coming in via the use of ‘Spotify\’ which is a digital music service.\”

In an email to members of Lincoln College, students were warned that they should avoid using the software. \”This is a warning that the University has seen a series of PCs machines with Spotify getting infected with malware infections which are coming through the ads in the free version,\” the email says.

\”Please, please, make sure your anti-virus is up to date and do a full scan asap.\”