Image:Popular game "Angry Birds"
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Fans of "Angry Birds" may have been angry themselves if they downloaded malicious software from a fan merchandise site. The site's administrators promptly removed the malware once alerted.
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updated 9/16/2011 9:39:10 PM ET 2011-09-17T01:39:10

Playing too many games of "Angry Birds" can be dangerous to your productivity, and of course to all those birds catapulting erratically through the sky. It seems as though searching for souvenirs related to the wildly popular mobile phone game can also be just as threatening.

Internet crooks rigged an online shop selling "Angry Birds" merchandise with malicious software and downloadable files. Items such as an "Angry Birds Rubber Squeeze Toy" or an "Angry Birds Logo Home Button Sticker for iPad," were embedded with corrupt software that would infect users' computers and smartphones if purchased.

Researchers with the security firm Bitdefender detected the threat; they did not specify which site was manipulated, but the company wrote in its MalwareCity blog that the site's administrators promptly removed the malware once alerted.

Bitdefender's Sabina Datcu did some additional research as to who bought "Angry Birds" souvenirs and why. In a polling group of 850 people ages 18 to 50, Datcu found out that 37 percent bought the merchandise for their children, while 63 percent said they kept the souvenirs for themselves. A majority (87 percent) said they bought plush toys "to recreate the feeling of the game in real life."

Whatever your motivation, online shopping always poses a risk, and it's important to take precautions before clicking "purchase" on any site. And always run anti-virus software on your computer, which can detect potentially hazardous websites and downloads before you click on them.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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