Feeds

Popular Facebook game caught serving malvertisements

Rogue AV brought to you by Farm Town

Boost IT visibility and business value

A Facebook game with more than 9 million users has been caught serving ads that try to trick viewers into installing malware.

Hundreds of users of Farm Town have reported seeing the ads, which falsely claim the user's PC is infected and can only be fixed by buying and running the anti-virus software being advertised, according to this forum. Farm Town developer SlashKey warned users to ignore the ads but failed to suspend third-party adverts, much to the anger of security experts.

"It may not be Farm Town's fault that a third-party advertising network is serving up malicious ads, but doing anything less is surely showing a careless disregard for the safety of its players," wrote Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Until the makers of Farm Town resolve the problem of malicious adverts, my advice to its fans would be to stop playing the game and ensure that their computer is properly defended with up-to-date security software."

Rogue AV software like that advertised to Farm Town players has proved to be a bane to computer users. Such titles generate billions of dollars per year in revenue to fraudsters, while stealing credit card data and often planting backdoors on end-user's machines.

Over the years, The New York Times, MySpace, and scores of other sites have been caught serving ads that try to trick viewers into believing their machines are infected, often by displaying mock hard drive scans with a list of malicious files detected. The ads are usually the work of fly-by-night advertisers who trick advertising networks into distributing the sham banner ads.

More from Sandi Hardmeier's Spyware Sucks blog here, here and here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.