Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment Ltd. says the popular game’s home pages have been hacked, two days after reports that the personal data of its customers might have been accessed by U.S. and British spy agencies.
Rovio spokeswoman says the hacking lasted a few minutes early Wednesday and that end-user data “was in no risk at any point.”
The hacking came after documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden suggested that the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ had been able to extract information through a host of smartphone apps across the globe, including the Angry Birds game franchise, and Facebook, Twitter and Google Maps. Called ‘leaky’ apps by the reports, the apps use photo sharing, geo-tagging, sharing of location and a host of other permissions.
In a statement published Tuesday on its site, titled ‘Rovio does not provide end user data to government surveillance agencies’, Rovio said it does not “share data, collaborate or collude with any government spy agencies such as NSA or GCHQ anywhere in the world.”
The company interestingly however did provide a possible way in which its apps, along with other ad-enabled applications, could be used for surveillance by agencies – if advertising networks themselves were being spied on. It said:
“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. Rovio does not allow any third party network to use or hand over personal end-user data from Rovio’s apps.”