January 29, 2014 - 21:52 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The official Angry Birds website was defaced late Tuesday, Jan 28, turning everyone's favorite fowl into "Spying Birds."
The hack came after The New York Times, citing data provided by Edward Snowden, said that the National Security Agency and British intelligence teamed up to collect and store user data generated by "dozens of smartphone apps," including popular games like Angry Birds, PCMag.com reports.
According to security analyst Graham Cluley, visitors to angrybirds.com saw the game's logo replaced with "Spying Birds," and an NSA logo affixed to the head of one of the iconic characters (pictured).
The Finnish company confirmed the intrusion to PCMag. "The defacement was caught in minutes and corrected immediately. The end user data was in no risk at any point," a Rovio spokeswoman said in a statement.
"Due to how the Internet name resolution works, for most areas it was not visible at the time, 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," she said.
As of Wednesday morning, the website was back to normal, with access to a variety of games, including the new Angry Birds Go! racing title, as well as Star Wars-themed games and Bad Piggies.
Yesterday, Rovio denied handing over user information to officials, suggesting that any leaked data is coming from third-party ad networks. According to the developers, "the alleged surveillance may be conducted through third-party advertising networks used by millions of commercial websites and mobile applications across all industries."
This news comes as the Department of Justice announced that tech firms will be allowed to release more data about government requests for information. No longer forced to lump national security-related requests with ordinary law enforcement requests, organizations can now break them out in bands of 250.
The Syrian Electronic Army, which has targeted media companies of late, said in a tweet that the Angry Birds hack was carried out by "a friend."