Users of the popular Facebook game, Farm Town, have been targeted by a malware scam attempting to infect PC systems with fake antivirus software, the company behind the game has admitted.

SlashKey, the company behind the game that has attracted some 9million users, confirmed in a post on the Farm Town user forum that pop-up ads appearing during the game could lead to users unknowingly installing malicious code on their computers or giving away personal details

The adverts show Farm Town players a ‘warning’ telling them that their computer is infected with viruses, and telling them that they need to click the message to run a ‘scan’ of their computer. Clicking on this ad then prompts a program to download malicious code onto a user’s computer system.

“We are aware and have reported to the developers that many of our players have encountered the malware/spyware while on the FarmTown Site,” read the warning. “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”

The company advised users that most reputable antivirus software programs would be capable of quarantining this particular problem.

It’s thought the malicious adverts were placed through a third-party advertising service, not from SlashKey themselves, echoing similar attacks that have hit high-profile sites including the New York Times, Daily Mail and Gizmodo.

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