Angry birds website hacked, defaced with NSA logo

The website was defaced possibly in connection to news reports earlier in the week that suggested U.S. and U.K. spy agencies are accessing user information from the Angry Birds app.

By Ananth Baliga
Angry birds website hacked, defaced with NSA logo
Video game maker Rovio confirms its Angry Birds website was hacked and defaced with the NSA logo and the caption "Spying Birds." (Screenshot via Angry Birds/Rovio)

ESPOO, Finland, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Video game maker Rovio has confirmed that its Angry Birds website was hacked and defaced with an image called 'Spying Birds' featuring the NSA's logo.

This comes after revelations on Monday by the New York Times, Guardian and ProPublica that the NSA and the U.K.'s GHCQ spy agency worked together to gain private user information from the Angry Birds game. The company has come out strongly to refute any collusion or cooperation with these agencies to release user information.


The company said that the defacement was caught instantly and the website has been fixed. marketing manager Saara Bergstrom said the attack "looks to be similar to the New York Times attacks from last year."

A Twitter account associated with the Syrian Electronic Army, responsible for the attack on the New York Times, posted a link to the image used to deface the website and this message, "A friend hacked and defaced @Angrybirds website after reports confirms its spying on people. The attack was by 'Anti-NSA' Hacker, He sent an email to our official email with the link of the hacked website."

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The GHCQ report from 2012 has claimed that they could access information, such as age, sex, location and even if they were currently listening to music or making a call, from users who played the game on their Android phones.

In a statement released Tuesday, Rovio said that the alleged snooping may have been conducted using a third-party advertising network used by commercial web sites and other mobile applications. They said that the company did not allow third-party sites to use or hand over user data from Rovio apps.

β€œIn order to protect our end users, we will, like all other companies using third party advertising networks, have to re-evaluate working with these networks if they are being used for spying purposes,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment.

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[BBC] [NYT] [Rovio Entertainment]

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