Hacktivists clone Jay Z app

Alan O'Doherty
July 5, 2013

A trojan program hidden in an unofficial copy of the Jay Z app has been used to promote anti-US government propaganda. The official version of the app was released to promote the rapper’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail and it seems that the malware developers have taken advantage of the demand for a free version, releasing the app through various pirate websites.

Initially indistinguishable from the genuine version the pirated app was triggered to change the user’s background on the 4th of July to an image depicting president Obama wearing headphones with the slogan ‘Yes We Scan”. The messages purportedly reference current controversies regarding the NSA and the Prism scanning system, suggesting that the app was released recently.

A McAfee researcher described how the app was initially harmless but was programmed to contact an external server whenever the device was restarted, downloading additional packages which triggered the screen change on the 4th of July.

While the content of the app suggests this was an act of political activism experts have still not ruled out the possibility that the app might also attempt to access financial transactions or other data.

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