VLC Media Player is banned or not working in India due to a recent hack by the Cicada group in April 2022. As per the Symantec researcher, VLC was vulnerable to the Cicada malware which has the capacity to steal important data from users. This virus can even write itself into the Master Boot Record, thus posing threat to all data stored in the root drive.
Once it has access to the Master Boot record, it may erase your hard drive or any external device attached to it. After it has done considerable damage to the drives, you will get a warning message about the recent infection on your PC.
VLC Media Player has been blocked as per order of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under IT Act, 2000.
Why has the Government quietly banned VLC in India?
This quiet ban on VLC may have been the result of a “China connection” as some hacker group has infiltrated VLC Media Player with malware. Back in April 2022, the Cicada group targeted several high-profile victims hailing from different countries.
As per cyber-security researchers at Symantec, this hack is again a result of Cicada, and it could have hacked people from India, Canada, the US, Israel, or several other countries. They even found that the China-based hackers used VLC to infiltrate a virus on compromised devices.
As a precaution, the Indian government has banned opening VLC downloads as well as visiting its official site through different ISPs. If you still want to access the VLC media player’s site, you may open it through a VPN service. However, we strongly suggest not doing so as your data will be at stake then.
VLC Media Player banned in India
If you try opening https://www.videolan.org/, you will simply get an error message – “This site can’t be reached”. When opening this site on different ISPs, you may get a failed SSL error message.
Though VLC has been denied access opening in India, there isn’t any official word from the government side, regarding this ban. We tried opening VLC using different ISPs, and we get the same error message on all major carriers. The error message is displayed below –
This site can't be reached
www.videolan.org took too long to respond.
Note: The message you get while visiting www.videolan.org may vary, but you will always be denied access to it.
What is VLC and why it is important?
VLC is an open-source media player and also enjoys being the best media player when it comes to watching movies on PC, desktops, etc. Recently, its android version has also created a buzz because of its simple and clean interface.
If you use VLC to watch movies offline, you won’t face any trouble. However, if you do use its streaming services, you should switch to other platforms temporarily.
VLC Media player is also used to convert video from one format to another. As it has been blocked, you should definitely try some other media conversion tools.
The strange thing about this block is that it happened two months ago and yet there is no acknowledgment from either the Government side or via VLC. So, we can’t confirm how long you need to wait till the VLC starts working again in India.
As things are yet to be confirmed, we suggest users remain away from VLC for some time and we will let you know as soon as we get some more info on this.