Does FarmVille cause viruses?

A member of a Facebook group that I belong to recently raised questions about a FarmVille virus called Daf Dof. I did some digging around to find more information about this, but I’ve come to the conclusion that neither FarmVille nor FarmTown directly cause any viruses.

All that I could find about a FarmVille virus was a bunch of first-hand testimony, which is about as inconclusive and untrustworthy as it gets.

Here’s an example.

A reader of the Topeka Capital-Journal responded to an article about FarmVille’s success with the following statement:

My grandson played FarmTown and every day I had viruses to clean up. He stopped going there… no more viruses. Not one in over a month since he stopped. And I have good virus and spyware protection, which I ran every day when that was going on. Kept me busy. I’m glad he’s out of that stuff.

I can understand why the reader thought that FarmVille was causing viruses on her computer, but other readers had more reasonable explanations for the sudden appearance and disappearance of malware:

  • Your grandson was probably looking at porn between crop harvests.
  • I have a feeling he is sneaking in some other sites you dont know about Lucinda.
  • Where your son may have picked something up, Lucinda, is by accidentally clicking on some ad somewhere on FB… Also, you have to be careful in FarmTown when you go to Market to sell your crops; people can follow you back to your farm and send messages.

In case you’re feeling paranoid about Facebook viruses on FarmVille and FarmTown, you should consider that most viruses, worms, and other types of malware are most often disseminated by cybercriminals and smart kids with way too much time on their hands.

FarmVille doesn’t even come close to that category. It’s made by Zynga, the largest maker of Facebook video games. The company also makes lots of other video games for computers and smartphones.

It’s a success company that makes plenty of money without resorting to Facebook hoaxes.

Now this is not to say that it’s impossible to pick up a virus while playing FarmVille. It’s always possible that someone could clickjack a page that looks like FarmVille or that an advertisement could contain some malware.

There is some amount of risk associated with playing FarmVille, but I don’t think it’s any greater than the risk that you run by using any other web site.

If you know for certain, or even have a good reason to suspect, that you have picked up malware from FarmVille, then I’d love to hear about your experience. Just because I can’t find anything wrong with it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. I’ve been wrong before, and I plan on being wrong at least one or two more times in my life.

~ by facebookhoaxes on March 27, 2010.

One Response to “Does FarmVille cause viruses?”

  1. [...] Spring Eggs I explained in a previous post that FarmVille and FarmTown do not cause viruses. I stand by this analysis, but that I’ve gotten [...]

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