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Can’t open VLC Media Player on your PC? Here’s the reason

The Indian government has blocked VLC Media Player in India. The app was reportedly banned five months ago. Here's why that might have happened.

VLC Media Player

Image: Pixabay



The Indian government has banned one of India’s most popular media players — VLC Media Player — in the country. The media player cannot be accessed via its developer, VideoLAN’s official website nor can an executable (exe) file of the application be downloaded on a Windows laptop. However, Android and iOS users can still download the media player from Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Also Read - Apple ready for high demand of iPhone 14 as production cycle more robust than expected

Notably, this ban isn’t something new. MediaNama reported this ban almost two months ago. However, the actual ban took place way before that. The government hasn’t shed light in this regard. However, VideoLAN has confirmed the ban via several tweets on its official Twitter handle. “If you are in India, please help us,” the company wrote in a tweet responding to a report of VLC being banned in India. Also Read - How to track your medications on Apple Watch, iPhone

VideoLAN, however, hasn’t commented on the matter of what led to this ban in the first place. Responding to a question on how users can help the company resolve this matter, VideoLAN said, “Contact your local government and representatives, to get an answer.” Also Read - Apple iPhone 15 Pro to use 3nm chipset built by TSMC: Report

Why VLC Media Player has been banned in India?

As far as the reason for this ban is concerned, reports suggest that the VLC Media Player was banned in India as it was used by China-backed hacking group called Cicada for cyber attacks in the country. Reports also detail how the VLC Media Player was used by Cicada hackers to deploy malicious code on targeted systems as part of their wider cyber attack campaign.

However, VideoLAN has refuted those claims saying that the Cicada hackers used a modified version of the VLC Media Player for the cyber attack not the one available on official Microsoft, Google and Apple Stores.

What happens next?

If you planning to download VLC Media Player on your PC now, you cannot do so in the country anymore. However, if you had downloaded and installed the application before the ban, you can continue using it without any issues. It is possible that you will not get any updates on the application.

Some Android and iOS users are still using VLC Media Player on their smartphone. VideoLAN says that this is probably owing to the difference in ISPs.

  • Published Date: August 14, 2022 2:38 PM IST
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