Spyware Sucks
“There is no magic fairy dust protecting Macs" – Dai Zovi, author of “The Mac Hacker’s Handbook"

One last post on the Farm Town malvertizement incident

April 13th 2010 in Uncategorized

I posted this to Farm Town here:



This response was posted, just 14 minutes later – note that my post was edited not once (by “candlelight”), but twice – once to disable the links (which I don’t have a problem with) and then again over 12 hours later (by “Heddryin”?) to remove the links completely.



Then I posted this to let Farm Town users know that the problem was likely gone – I had not been contacted by email by a Forum Moderator, or the Developers.  That being said, the advertising network *did* respond to my alert – again the links were removed completely – my bad, I admit, its force of habit and I need to establish my bona fides with people reading my posts.



Then “Molly Mew” posted this, an hour and 21 minutes later, after the bad advert had been disabled.



So, I posted this – by this stage the thread was at least 30 pages long, having been started on the 9th of April, the advert had been disabled, and I still had not heard from the Developers, or a Forum Moderator, by email to get a copy of the information that I had for them, or to ask how I had done it – and that is a big point for me – after all, we had a complaint thread that is days old, and 30 pages long.  I appear, say I have the info needed to shut down the advert, ask them to get in touch (while alerting the ad network at the same time) and the bad advert, which people had been complaining about for days, is shut down within hours – wouldn’t YOU want to know how the heck I did it so that you could learn, and do the same thing?

No editing this time, no links removed.



Then I see this response, posted within minutes – ok, that stung.  When have I ever asked for money from anybody to help them get rid of malvertizing or train their staff?  That would be NEVER!



and then this:



So, I tried to post a response to “Tony D” to reassure him that there was no sales pitch, and that I do not and never have charged for such assistance, but I saw the following.  What the? I did not have such a block against my posts earlier.  I don’t even have permission to view my own private messages at the moment 🙁

I can only hope it is some sort of automatic switch that has been flipped.



I have since tried three times to post to that thread, and none of the posts have appeared.  I did not save my response to “Tony D”, having been surprised by the unexpected moderator approval requirement, but I did save two further attempts.  I don’t know if a moderator will eventually approve them, but I’ll put them here just in case – forum moderators/helpers need to realise that the information that they are asking for is of LIMITED use when trying to track down a bad advertisement – the most effective information is information about the bad advert itself, not where it takes the victim.

Yesterday’s attempt:



And tonight’s attempt:



As at time of writing, my posts have not been approved, and I have not received an email from the Forum Moderators, or the Developers.

2 comments to...
“One last post on the Farm Town malvertizement incident”

Conrad Longmore

They don’t really want to know, do they? I do note that there’s been quite a bit of negative publicity over this though.. perhaps they are heading for a corporate Darwin Award?



I received an email from adknowledge.com 50 minutes ago to advise that they have identified and taken down the malicious advertisement. There is, of course, much that needs to be addressed.  How did the advert get in in the first place? If Farm Town were approached […]

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Again, a Facebook application is affected, but this time it is users in the United States (and perhaps elsewhere) who are being targeted.  The App owner, cubics.com and Facebook have all been notified of the incident and given the necessary evidence. The advertisement displayed when I test the social.bidsystem.com URL changes all the time.  […]

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