WARNING: Farm Town Serves Malware Ads To Facebook Users
by: stan shroeder
Sophos released a warning today that popular Facebook game Farm Town (quite similar to FarmVille) has been serving ads which display fake security warnings, tricking users into installing malware or handing over their credit card details.
SlashKey, the company behind Farm Town, has issued a warning to users on their official forum. From the post:
“We are aware and have reported to the developers that many of our players have encountered the malware/spyware while on the FarmTown Site. We believe at this time that it is harmless to your computer and a result of one or more of the ads on the site, but you should NOT follow any links to any software claiming to “clean your system.”
If you suddenly get a warning that your computer is infected with viruses and you MUST run this scan now, DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK, CLOSE THE WINDOW IMMEDIATELY. You should then run a full scan with your antivirus program to ensure that any stray parts of this malware are caught and quarantined.”
Sophos points out that the malicious ads are probably related to third party ads that Farm Town displays to players. Its huge player base (over 9.6 million players) and the fact that users may not be, on average, technically savvy enough to decipher the true intent of these ads make this quite a serious issue.
As a general rule of thumb, ads that claim your computer has been infected with malware, offering to “fix” the problem for you, usually are malware themselves and you should avoid clicking them, however convincing they seem.