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Need your help/advice

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Need your help/advice

Unread postby skittlespc » June 6th, 2009, 1:15 pm

Hi everyone! It's been a longgggggg time since I have been in here, so some of you will remember me and many will not. A big hello to all of you who have arrived since I have last been here! ;)

I don't think this is the appropriate forum to post this, but I couldn't really find any other as I am not posting a HJT log.

I am a Facebook junkie! hehehe And been directing anyone of those in my friend's list who mention about being infected to here or NutnWorks. Well lately I have been hearing a lot of discussions on a particular game that I play called Hatchlings. I am totally addicted to the game, and many people come to me for help with it.

Here is one of the discussions that I am referring to. I was hoping that someone could take a look at some of the infections they have popping up. Most of them seem to have Avast catching this thing. But I have been away too long from the computer security world that I don't know what's new and out there now.

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=7 ... opic=31820 Guests should be able to view it. I logged out and made sure, so let me know if you have a problem seeing this.

There is also this guy that seems to be directing people to do something to fix it, yet he also had to send his wife to google to find a malware removal forum such as this to guide them as well. So I am not so confident on what he is saying.

A lot of my friends are playing this game. I for one have not had any problems while playing this game but then of course I have FF and Ad-block installed, so I never see any of the ads these people are referring to. The thing that worries me, is that some of these people have paid for premium membership to block all ads but they are still getting a virus warning. So would that indicate that it is coming from the source? The actual servers of the game?

If it's an issue with the ads, which apparently some have mentioned the one called RockYou as the major problem, so would that mean that this is something that the ads are approved and put there by Facebook itself or from the game Hatchlings itself.

I would like to give these people some advice other than stay away from this game, unless absolutely necessary as this is or was the number 1 game on Facebook. If not still, then they are in the top 3, so it's huge on FB.

The developer tried to argue the point one other time that you cannot get a virus unless you actually click on the advertisement. That's when I stepped in on that thread, as I still have the love of educating people about protecting their computers.

Anyway, if possible could someone take a look at some of these posts and see if you can give me any advice as to what to advise them to do? I plan to advise those who are having problems with this infection to come here for help, but I am also wondering if I need to get out of this game all together.

Thanks for anyone who might be willing to take a look and give me some input.

Skittles
skittlespc
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Re: Need your help/advice

Unread postby Mystery » July 6th, 2009, 12:08 pm

This topic has caught my attention, and I've done some research on it.
I am by no means expert for security issues, so I can't give you any reliable advice.

This issue doesn't seem to be covered on any trustworthy security related website/blog/forum - at least I haven't found anything.
It seems however that the mentioned site displays ad in an iFrame, and might be able to expoit browsers. I don't know if without actively clicking on it anything would happen or not.
IMHO, using FireFox with the add-ons Adblock Plus and NoScript might reduce the risk of infections connected to ad on websites in general (of course additionally to the other general security measures like using a firewall, and up-to-date antivirus software, anti-spyware software etc.).
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Re: Need your help/advice

Unread postby skittlespc » July 18th, 2009, 7:27 pm

Thanks Mystery for your research and thoughts on this subject.

I had discussed this with my good friend Corrine and then I talked to the developers on that application and also another application that this problem started to occur in.

It appears it is not the application itself but rather the ads that are circulating on it.

Some ads are from FB itself, and the others are from a service that the developers use to show ads to support their application.

Apparently it was some ads, particularly in this case it was RockYou that was circulating at the time. The developers of the applications do not have any control as to what circulates thru the advertisement service they are using. But they have contacted and working with that service to pinpoint which ad is causing the infections so they can remove them.

Apparently the circulation of the ads will vary from game to game, application to application, meaning the infected ad might just be circulating on a few of the applications, and not the others, then it rotates to another set. Making people feel it is the application itself, because they find they only have this problem on a particular application they are using.

I have been trying to educate people like crazy who are constantly trying to blame this other application/game that I use. Not the one mentioned above. They just cannot get it around their heads that it is not the application that is infected but rather the advertisements that are popping up all over the place. They have it in their heads that they can only be infected on the internet if they click on something. lol Not always the case.

I've been advising them the same thing you suggested to me which I already have had, and that is to run Firefox and to use the add on AdBlock Plus and another one I just started to use is one called TACO. (I forget what the abbreviation stands for...it's not food! lol) But that add-on will only be helpful if you allow third party cookies, which I do.
skittlespc
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Posts: 52
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Location: Sweden previously USA

Re: Need your help/advice

Unread postby Mystery » July 18th, 2009, 8:46 pm

Hi skittlespc :wave:

It's good to know that the developers are now looking into it together with the ad service. :)
I bet that in connection with infections on online game sites, in 99% of the cases it's not the game that contains malicious contents, but ads that are displayed on that website. It's always a risk if content is served from another server.

I think that for the players it doesn't matter much if it's the game itself or an ad on that page that causes the infections, it's understandable that they want to stay away from it. And it's indeed not easy to understand for average users that even invisible malicious code from an iFrame of the size of 1pixel x 1 pixel can do any harm without clicking on anything...

Anyhow I think that it's really great that the developers have taken this report seriously, and do something against it. Doesn't happen too often... :roll:

I have never heard of that non-food TACO, but just checked it. For anyone interested to know what this add-on is, here's the link:
https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/11073
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Re: Need your help/advice

Unread postby skittlespc » July 20th, 2009, 3:40 pm

Hi again Mystery! :wave:

Yes that TACO is fairly new to me as well. Corrine just found it herself I believe while she was helping me with this issue, and suggested it to me. My boyfriend, a computer techie himself (more on the hardware end of things) was quite impressed with it as well and added it to his system. And he is hard to impress with things, especially in regards to protection. hahaha

So what did you think?
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Re: Need your help/advice

Unread postby Mystery » July 21st, 2009, 3:20 pm

Hi skittlespc,

I think that it's a good add-on indeed within the scope of its intention :)
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