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article imageHackers target Angry Birds

By Tim Sandle     Jan 30, 2014 in Internet
Hackers have defaced the Angry Birds website with an image entitled Spying Birds, featuring an NSA logo. The hack came after the NSA admitted that it had obtained data released by the game's developer Rovio.
Although Rovio has admitted that data about users of at least one of its games could have been supplied to the U.S. NSA (and the U.K. equivalent, GCHQ), the developer has tried to soften the blow by issuing a statement saying that it did not "collaborate or collude" with any government spy agency.
The issue about Rovio's alleged collaboration has come about through documents released by Nobel Prize nominee Edward Snowden. Rovio has explained that:
"The alleged surveillance may be conducted through third party advertising networks used by millions of commercial web sites and mobile applications across all industries. If advertising networks are indeed targeted, it would appear that no internet-enabled device that visits ad-enabled web sites or uses ad-enabled applications is immune to such surveillance."
This statement was not sufficient to pacify a group of hackers. Furthermore, according to The Guardian, a GCHQ report, dated 2012, specifically referred to their ability to snatch details about a user if they had installed Angry Birds on to an Android device. The U.K. government report added that the data could include information about the owner's age, sex, location and even if they were currently listening to music or making a call.
Talking to the BBC, marketing manager Saara Bergstrom explained that the impact of the hack was short lasting: "The defacement was caught in minutes and corrected immediately. The end user data was in no risk at any point. Due to how the internet name resolution works, for most areas it was not visible at all, but some areas take time for the correct information to be updated. This attack looks to be similar to the New York Times attacks from last year."
The origin of the hack remains unknown. Meanwhile, concerns about the security of data on even the most seemingly innocuous and trivial sites, like Angry Birds, remains one of concern to many Internet users.
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