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Burger King Twitter account hacked, defaced

Fast-food giant's home page was altered to appear the account had been sold to McDonald's "because the whopper flopped."

Burger King's hacked Twitter account (click to enlarge). Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET

The Twitter account associated with the fast-food chain Burger King was suspended after an apparent hack defaced the page with messages that the account had been sold to McDonald's.

The @BurgerKing account name was changed today to "McDonalds" and the Golden Arches logo was added to the page, as was a message that the account had been sold to McDonald's "because the whopper flopped."

The page has since been taken down, but images of the defacement are still visible on Web cache.

Before the feed's suspension, hackers posted tweets that included racial epithets to Burger King's some 83,000 followers -- a tally that ballooned by about 25,000 to more than 108,000 after the hack.

The online hacktivist collective Anonymous appeared to take responsibility for the hack in a tweet that mentioned a new operation dubbed #OpMadCow, although it was not immediately clear what the aim of that campaign was.

Burger King said it shut down the feed when it learned of the hack and apologized for the unauthorized content tweeted from the account this morning.

"We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings," the company said in a statement. "We apologize to our fans and followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics."

Updated at 1 p.m. PT with Burger King statement.