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‘Malvertising’ Attacks on Facebook Farm Town Players

According to a warning to 9.6 Million people who play the 'Farm Town' game on Facebook, fake security alerts could appear on their screens and deceptively get them to buy an unnecessary anti-virus program.

According to the person behind moderating an online user forum related to SlashKey, the creator of Farm Town, they know about the scam and have informed the Farm Town developers that numerous players of the game have stumbled on the malware/spyware, as reported by Cnet.com on April 12, 2010.

Meanwhile, it's worth noting that researchers at Sophos, the security firm, think that the scam is from an intermediary advertising network that's distributing malicious advertisements. They, therefore, recommend that SlashKey bock the intermediary adverts until a solution is obtained for the problem.

In fact, in a personal blog post, Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant for Sophos stated that till the time the Farm Town makers solve the issue pertaining to malicious adverts, his advice to the gamers is to abandon the game. He further suggested that the gamers should protect their computers with properly updated security software, according to the statement published by Webuser.co.uk on April 12, 2010.

Sadly, this isn't the first time that malicious ads are causing trouble online. Previously, malware was discovered in advertisements that Google, Fox, and Yahoo ad platforms delivered. So did the reputed websites like 'Gizmodo' and 'The New York Times' deliver ads containing malware.

Indeed, during the first week of April 2010, according to Blue Coat Systems, a number of leading ad-serving networks apparently were deceptively made to incorporate malicious banner advertisements from Daniton.com, their partner website. The ads carried malicious JavaScript, which on decoding automatically, injected a harmful iFrame into the infected Web-page. Thereafter, the iFrame directed the computer-user's Web-browser to connect with certain malware server that pulled down a malevolently crafted PDF document.

Finally, returning to issue being discussed presently, a Spokesman for Facebook stated in defense of the popularity of the social network that Facebook is trying to prevent such scams. For that, it is studying particular dubious pages and groups as well as setting up technical systems that can expose those pages and groups faster, as per the statement published by Cnet.com on April 12, 2010.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 4/22/2010

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