Mobile Tech Today

CIO Today Network Sites:   Top Tech News  |   CIO Today   |   Mobile Tech Today   |   Data Storage Today
News & Product Reviews for Mobile Tech Users
Welcome to the new I.T.
One that streamlines service delivery
Learn how with new I.T. from BMC

Discover it here: www.bmc.com
Monday, April 21st 
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Trending Topics:   Security Heartbleed Big Data Cloud Computing Windows XP Data Centers OS X Mavericks
Home
Laptops & Tablets
Mobile Phones
Mobile Gadgets
Mobile Apps
BYOD & MDM
iPad
Mobile Industry News
Wireless Connectivity
Wireless Security
GPS & Maps
MTT Press Releases
 
Free Newsletters
Top CIO News
 
Mobile Tech Today
 

Mobile Security

Did NSA Use Angry Birds or Other Apps for Spying?

Did NSA Use Angry Birds or Other Apps for Spying?
January 28, 2014 3:17PM

Bookmark and Share
Just as companies denied any involvement with the NSA in early 2013, when the first Edward Snowden documents were released, app creators are doing the same now. Rovio, the creator of the hit mobile app Angry Birds, issued a statement saying it had no knowledge of any data collection, and instead blamed advertising networks.

Your Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems: the world's most advanced converged infrastructure are built on the Cisco Unified Computing System with Intel® Xeon® processors. Vblock™ Systems deliver extraordinary time to market, ROI and TCO, and flexibility to meet your continually changing demands with 5X faster deployment, 96% less downtime, and 1/2 the cost. Click here to learn more.

One of the first revelations by Edward Snowden, a former contract employee of the National Security Agency, involved the NSA's use of popular services for data gathering. Among these services were Facebook and Gmail, which the NSA had been using since 2007 to obtain information on people around the world. Now, new information reportedly released by Snowden shows the NSA also tapped into mobile apps like Angry Birds and Twitter to collect data.

By tapping into these applications, both the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, have been able to collect end-user information like GPS location, age and ethnicity. Much of this information is already shared with advertising networks, which may allow the NSA to collect data from numerous applications as long as they are reliant on the same ad providers.

'Golden Nugget'

Some of the latest Snowden documents, reported by The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. and The New York Times and ProPublica in the U.S., were accompanied by NSA or GCHQ presentation slides. Within the presentation was a slide titled "Golden Nugget," which stated that the "perfect scenario" for data collection would be a photo posted to a social media Web site that originates from a mobile device. This is presumably the "perfect scenario" because of how much information can be obtained by examining just one photo.

Other slides and documents accompanying the presentation detailed various ways that the spy agencies would be able to use "leaky" applications to grab data. Twitter and Facebook both remove private information encoded into photos before they go public, but if the NSA or GCHQ has access to the media files early in the upload process, that data -- such as time, date, GPS location and what type of camera or smartphone took the photo -- may still be present.

Angry Birds Denial

Just as companies denied any involvement with the NSA in early 2013, when the first Snowden documents were released, app creators are doing the same now. Rovio, the creator of the hit mobile app Angry Birds, has already issued a statement claiming it had no knowledge of the NSA's data collection, and instead blamed ad networks for the lack of user privacy.

"Rovio Entertainment Ltd, which is headquartered in Finland, does not share data, collaborate or collude with any government spy agencies such as NSA or GCHQ anywhere in the world," the company said. "The alleged surveillance may be conducted through third-party ad networks used by millions of commercial Web sites and mobile applications across all industries."

By denying any responsibility for the NSA's ability to collect data on users, Rovio has brought up an important point, that the ad networks used by thousands of services are in control of user data as well. Unlike if the NSA was to break into a single app, infiltrating an ad network would yield far more data. While Rovio is making the claim that ad networks could be responsible, it is still not clear where the NSA is infiltrating to obtain the information.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Mobile Security
1. Google Expands Virus Scans to All Apps
2. Samsung Adding Anti-Theft Solutions
3. Police Keep Quiet About Cell Tracking
4. BlackBerry Wins Security Certification
5. NSA Collects, Retrieves Foreign Calls


Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Cortana Fills Windows Phone Gap
  Galaxy S5 Phone: Less Can Be More
  Beware: Facebook Shares Your Locale
  Google, Rockstar Suit Stays in Calif.
  Google Earnings, Sales Disappoint

 Technology Marketplace
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
Cloud Computing
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
 
Contact Centers
HP delivers the future of the contact center with HP Qfiniti 10.
 
Data Storage
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Enterprise Hardware
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 

Network Security Spotlight
Heartbleed Could Cost Millions, Could Have Been Prevented
Early estimates of Heartbleed’s cost to enterprises are running in the millions. The reason: revoking all the SSL certificates the bug exposed will come at a very hefty price. Some say it all could have been avoided.
 
Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached
Arts and crafts retail giant Michaels Stores has confirmed that a data breach at its POS terminals from May 2013 to Jan. 2014 may have exposed nearly 3 million customer credit and debit cards.
 
Google's Street View Software Unravels CAPTCHAs
The latest software Google uses for its Street View cars to read street numbers in images for Google Maps works so well that it also solves CAPTCHAs, those puzzles designed to defeat bots.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
The innovative headpiece may find its niche in markets where hands-free access to data can be a big advantage. Glass experiments for doctors are already under way, with some promising results.
 

Navigation
Mobile Tech Today
Home/Top News | Laptops & Tablets | Mobile Phones | Mobile Gadgets | Mobile Apps | BYOD & MDM | iPad
Mobile Industry News | Wireless Connectivity | Wireless Security | GPS & Maps | MTT Press Releases
Also visit these Enterprise Technology Sites
Top Tech News | CIO Today | Mobile Tech Today | Data Storage Today

Services:
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About CIO Today Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Services for PR Pros (In partnership with NewsFactor) | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 Mobile Tech Today. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.