Hacktivists hit Angry Birds website after spying claims

Hacktivists have attacked the wesbite of Angry Birds maker Rovio over UK and US spying revelations

Hacktivists have attacked the wesbite of Angry Birds maker Rovio after revelations that spy agencies had tapped into personal details of the game’s users.

The Angry Birds website was defaced briefly with an image that included the words “Spying Birds” and the logo of the US National Security Agency (NSA), reports the BBC.

Rovio said the defacement was picked up within minutes and corrected immediately and that at no point was any user data at risk.

The attack comes after reports based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and the UK’s GCHQ have targeted analytics data from mobile apps like Angry Birds.

The Finnish software firm has denied collaborating with the spy agencies and has called on the mobile app industry to respond to the use of commercial data by spy agencies.

Rovio said it will “re-evaluate” its relationship with advertising networks, and that the latest spying revelations mean it is vital for the industry to re-examine the issue of user privacy.

After the defacement of the Angry Birds’ website, a posting to a Twitter account associated with the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) said the attack was by an “anti-NSA” hacker.

The group, which supports Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, said the hacker had sent an email with a link to the hacked website.

Earlier this month, the SEA said it hijacked CNN’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and a blog in protest against the media group’s “biased” reporting on Syria.

CNN is the latest in a string of similar hacktivist attacks by the SEA on western media organisations that include the Financial Times, Washington Post, Thomson Reuters and the BBC.

The latest Snowden leaks could lead to a shakeup in the mobile apps and advertising industries because they have highlighted just how much personal information is collected behind the scenes.

Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment said: “The most important conversation to be had is how to ensure user privacy is protected while preventing the negative impact on the whole advertising industry and the countless mobile apps that rely on ad networks”.

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