According to MediaNama, VLC Media Player has been banned in the country for nearly two months, however, if it is already installed in devices, it should still work normally.
Neither the company, nor the Indian government has released any details regarding the ban and the reason behind it.
As per reports, the media player was banned as it was used by China-backed hacking group Cicada for cyber attacks. As a part of a long-running cyber attack campaign, Cicada hasa been using the software to deploy malicious malware loaders, experts discovered a few months ago.
As it was a soft ban, both the company and the government did not announce it officially. A user on Twitter shared a screenshot of the VLC website that showed, “The website has been banned as per order Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under IT Act, 2000.”
At the moment, both the website and the download link are banned in the country meaning that people will not be able to access the platform for any work. VLC Media Player is reportedly banned on all major internet service providers including ACTFibernet, Jio, Vodafone-idea among others.
It may be noted that the government of India had banned hundreds of Chinese apps including the likes of PUBG Mobile, TikTok and Camscanner in 2020. Recently, the rebranded BGMI version was also banned and was removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The government cited that these platforms were sending user data to China as the reason behind the ban. It is noteworthy that VLC Media Player is not a Chinese product, but has been developed by Paris-based VideoLAN.