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Sometimes Birds Get Angry… Very Angry

A popular site selling

 

Online success, as a rule, attracts online scammers. And so is the case with the hit game Angry Birds, in which players slingshot birds at pigs positioned on rickety walls and roofs.

Angry Birds was a stunning success.  at the Mobile 2.0 Europe – openIDEAS Conference, Peter Vesterbacka, one of the Angry Birdsmakers, said Angry Birds games are downloaded more than 1 million times a day.  The application has been downloaded more than 200 million times,and its users reportedly spend 200 million minutes a day killing pigs, launching birds through the air and activating  the power of the Mighty Eagle. 

That’s why, although the game was first released for the Apple iOS, Angry Birds versions for touchscreen-basedsmartphones,such as those using the Android operating system, personal computers and gaming consoles, have also been developed.

A market for Angry Birds merchandise appeared. And, of course, scammers are seeking to take advantage of it.

In this case, they’ve even gone that extra mile as far as creativity is concerned. We’re not dealing with malware that imitates this successful application, but with another kind of e-threat: they apparently hacked into an online shop selling various Angry Birds souvenirs and loaded the site with malware.

 

Though the shop’s customers had no direct (i.e. one click) exposure to malware, the response of the site administrators was prompt and the threat was immediately removed from the site.

To stay safe, always install and update a complete internet security suite  on your computer.

Until the next survey, keep a close watch on your systems, and surf safely on online shops!

 

P.S. – As a trained statistician, I can’t help but ask lots of questions of lots of people.

So, curious to find out what triggers such a phenomenal reaction, I asked 850 individuals (respondents’ age: 18-50 years) why they buy Angry Birds souvenirs. 37% bought them for their children, while 63% wanted to keep them for themselves. In most cases (87%), the respondents bought plush toys to re-create the feeling of the game in real life. To do this, they sought medium-sized toys (aprox. 5“).

The most popular use of these 5” plush toys? Throwing them at workmates.

About the author

Sabina DATCU

Sabina Datcu, PhD has background training in Applied Informatics and Statistics, Biology and Foreign Languages and Literatures. In 2003 she obtained a master degree in Systems Ecology and in 2009 a PhD degree in Applied Informatics and Statistics.
Since 2001, she was involved in University of Bucharest's FP 5 and FP6 European projects, as researcher in Information and Knowledge Management field.

In 2009, she joined the E-Threat Analysis and Communication Team at BitDefender as technology writer and researcher, and started to write a wide range of IT&C security-related content, from malware, spam and phishing alerts to technical whitepapers and press releases.

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