HCKAED: Facebook Scrabble application knocked offline by hackers

Filed Under: Social networks

# You could have given me ROSES,
but you gave me SORES #

- The Scrabble Song, Otis Lee Crenshaw.

Following the news that Scrabble-clone Scrabulous had been withdrawn from US and Canadian players, there has been a new development in the battle of the Facebook Scrabble apps.

Lovers of Scrabulous, forced to turn to EA's official Facebook version of the game, found they were unable to get their Scrabble-fix on Tuesday and Wednesday this week according to the LA Times.

Electronic Arts, who were awarded the license for online versions of the word game in North America by Hasbro, have claimed that hackers made their Scrabble Facebook application unplayable:

"EA's Scrabble Facebook game experienced a malicious attack this morning, resulting in the disabling of Scrabble on Facebook. We're working with our partners to resolve this issue and have Scrabble back online and ready to play as soon as possible."

Ouch! That's not good news for Hasbro, who after pulling the bathplug out on Scrabulous users were hoping for a slick public relations recovery and smoothly transition players over to its own version of the game on Facebook.

This may all seem fairly amusing to some - a scrap between two different producers of a Scrabble application, resulting in one being withdrawn from use and the other sabotaged by hackers. But lets not forget that a crime has been committed here. Hacking like this can not be condoned.

Anyway, the $6 million dollar question everyone wants an answer for is: Is it possible that disgruntled Scrabulous players were responsible for the hack?

Nobody knows. Ultimately it probably doesn't matter. EA will fix the problem, and Facebookers who want to get their Scrabble fix may grumble at first, but ultimately will adopt whatever version of the game is available, regardless of who wrote it.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.