The website for the popular Angry Birds game was defaced by hacktivists who themselves over allegations that the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ have been harvesting user data from the game’s “leaky” application, and several more apps that have security flaws.
”The defacement was caught in minutes and corrected immediately. The end user data was in no risk at any point,” ” said Rovio Entertainment’s Saara Bergström, vice president of marketing at the company that developed the Angry Birds game.
Visitors to the webpage would have seen the familiar “Angry Birds” animation accompanied by the words “Spying Birds” and the conspicuous inclusion of the NSA’s agency logo.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that the two intelligence agencies have been working on techniques to exploit flaws in the code of several popular application in order to harvest user data including a player’s location, age, sex and other personal information.
Previously undisclosed classified classified documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the agencies were capitalizing on the leaky apps that are designed to capture user data that is leveraged by the app designers, shared or sold to marketing organizations who use it to create targeted advertising.
The leaked documents do not indicate the breadth and depth of the operation, and it is unknown whether U.S. and U.K. residents were the subject of the surveillance. The NSA, of course, denies any data was intentionally collected on average citizens.
“N.S.A. does not profile everyday Americans as it carries out its foreign intelligence mission. Because some data of U.S. persons may at times be incidentally collected in N.S.A.’s lawful foreign intelligence mission, privacy protections for U.S. persons exist across the entire process,” the agency told the New York Times.
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