January 29, 2014 — IDG News Service — The official Angry Birds website was defaced by hackers following reports that U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies have been collecting user information from the game and other popular mobile apps.
Some users trying to access the www.angrybirds.com website late Tuesday were greeted by an image depicting the Angry Birds game characters accompanied by the text "Spying Birds." The U.S. National Security Agency's logo was also visible in the image.
The NSA and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have been working together to collect geolocation data, address books, buddy lists, telephone logs and other pieces of information from "leaky" mobile apps, The New York Times reported Monday based on documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Mobile apps commonly collect data about their users and share it with advertising networks, which then use the information to build user profiles for targeted advertising.
A secret 20-page GCHQ report from 2012 contained code needed to extract the profiles generated when Android users play Angry Birds, The New York Times reported. It's not clear if and how this data collection happens, but the reports were apparently enough to anger some hackers.