The banner ad for greeting cards was intermittently displayed with the application that is believed to be used by more than nine million users on a monthly basis, as per information published on Facebook.
Hackers have been known to figure out ways to slip their malicious advertisements onto ad networks that supply advertisements to innumerable Web sites. Many ad networks have taken steps to ensure malicious ads don’t circulate. But there are ways around using the ad networks.
“The bad guys are going straight to site owners and offering them advertising,” Hardmeier said via instant message. “The responsible networks are monitoring for the bad stuff and catching it and will suspend the bad campaigns immediately.”
Hardmeier said she has notified cubics.com, which delivered the ad to Farm Town, and is in the process of notifying Facebook. Officials at Facebook could not be immediately reached.
Social networking sites such as Facebook are a prime target for scammers due to their high number of users and potential victims.
Farm Town’s developer, SlashKey, has a notice on its website notifying its developers about the concern and said that the issue seems to be harmless at the moment, a fact that was denied by Sandi Hardmeier, who studies malicious advertisements and blogged about the issue.