Mafia Wars from a Player's Perspective

Mafia Wars from a Player's Perspective

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not A Virus or Trojan : this time! ok?

This is in response to several postings I have started seeing in my New Feed and to put an early end to the inevitable copy+paste posting that offer little or no hard evidence to truthfulness or not. The posting in question is generally looking like the following: 

 "Please repost: WARNING to all: If you get an Adobe Flash Player Update message that pops up when you click on Mafia Wars - DO NOT RUN is a Trojan and it looks very authentic..!!!!!!!" 

There are other versions and of course an ALL CAPS version will likely show up sooner or later too (people do love their all caps, as if that makes it more important.  Frankly, IT IS ANNOYING AS F**K, is it not?)

and it is in reference to the this MW in-game popup:

As usual with these types of warnings, info provided is incomplete, inaccurate, and unsubstantiated.  In this case the info is Incomplete and added a flare of buzzwords such as Virus or Trojan to truly scare the PC/Internet unwary.

1. This is NOT asking you to update your Adobe Flash Player.  This is one of the Adobe Flash Player SETTINGS, one for Local Storage to be exact.  There is A difference.  It looks authentic because, well, it is authentic from Macromedia Adobe Flash Player.

2.  You can get to these settings by right-clicking on any Flash part of MW and select Settings from the popup window.  I chose to right-click in Chicago Property page like so.  Local Storage settings is the 3rd tab on the bottom (looks like a manila folder with a green down arrow).

3. There is no "Running" of anything.  You are given an option, either [Allow] or [Deny] that domain to use your local storage.  As this is the screen where one sets how much local storage Flash Player is allowed to save on your computer.  You can set it to zero, all the way to the max or somewhere in between.  Mine is set to 100KB.  You can also check whether you want to it to Never Ask Again.  Leaving it Unchecked, you should see the popup(1st pic above) asking for your permission if there is an unrecognized domain wanting to store Flash content on your PC.

3b. If you want the full Adobe Flash Player Settings (live internet connection required) then visit here for more description and instructions:

4. Now onto the virus/trojan part.  The URL domain in question "" is part of the network. is one of the CDNs (Content Delivery Network) used by Z to store and deliver their game content all over the world.  Other CDNs they have used are Akamai (well everyone on the web has used them at one time or another) and Amazon EC3.  

In layman's term,  you are probably definitely not getting your game content, as in the graphics, css, and other game assets Directly from Z's San Francisco office but from one CDN or another.  This is so if you are living half a state away, across the country, or even the other side of the world from San Fran you will be getting your game as timely as possible as CDNs are located across many geographical locations across the globe.  So in other words it's faster in Net time getting stuff from servers closer to you rather than farther from you.  Got that?

5. or 3c.  Now why would I want to [Allow] it for Local Storage, you may be asking yourself?  Well it comes down how often you refresh your MW page or change cities or tab, and whatnot.  Local Storage in this case is just storing tiny image files, or even smaller text files that occur on most if not all pages so your browser doesn't request it again and again from the CDN servers every time you refresh, change cities or tab, and whatnot.  With Local Storage of those tiny files (remember you can set how much space on your PC it will use) are pulled up instantly from your PC.  Basically it is a tiny speed increase as your browser won't be waiting to download all those tiny files again and again, as it's already there.  But of course [Deny] is a perfectly viable option too and you will be downloading the same recurring Flash files over and over again being the worst of it.

6. If you are running Chrome you can look at the MW code for yourself with Inspect Element.  Below is a screenshot of again the Chicago Property page 

and with a search for ""  there were 195 matches found here with examples such as:

Copy + Paste the first URL from list above into your browser gives you :

which most should recognize as a build icon.  

So as you can tell that URL is all over the MW code and it points to such things as the small graphical elements (gifs and pngs) for the game.  Nothing sinister here.  

Sorry blind Copy+Pasters as usual no hard evidence provided but unproven speculation and fear-mongering in the name of helping others.  But hey I'm open-minded.  If you can prove me wrong and is indeed out to steal your credit card info from your PC along with your first born child, please provide me some proof otherwise I'll stick with my own explanation.

Do your part to stop the rumors! use the Share button immediately below this post, Share this post to your Facebook friends and Families, and ask them to check their facts before blindly spreading status message rumors!

1 comment:

  1. Cool. I like the info you supplied as well as the extra addition of screen shots. I share those posts myself, on the just in case, but add it's a repost and I did not verify it. Then go looking for info to add to that post. lol Like I did with your link and one from snopes.