Jay Z’s Android app for new album ‘Magna Carta…Holy Grail’ has been cloned by hackers and used to criticise the rapper’s best buddy – and US President – Barack Obama.
The official app was a major part of Jay Z’s promotional campaign, having given away 1million free copies of the album to owners of Samsung devices.
According to the BBC, the cloned app included a new wallpaper that mocked the President’s ‘Yes We Can’ campaign slogan, replacing it with ‘Yes We Scan’ and an image of Obama wearing headphones. The attack follows revelations of the NSA’s extensive Prism scanning system that has been heavily criticised and protested against in recent weeks.
The cloned app was available through unofficial Android sources so, as ever, the message here is to stick to Google Play when downloading anything. This is especially important given the recent news of an Android vulnerability that could allow hackers to seize control of your device through unofficial apps.
The official Magna Carta app has also been the subject of a number of controversies, but was still downloaded by well over 500,000 people despite the record leaking on the day of release. A success in music terms – but perhaps not quite the numbers Samsung would have hoped for given their sizeable investment.
Concerns have been raised over the app’s privacy settings, which demand very high levels of access to personal data for seemingly no reason whatsoever. As The Guardian reports, the Magna Carta app bafflingly required access to your device’s location, apps, status and even phonecalls. We like you Jay, we really do – but we don’t need you to know when we’re having a conversation with our parents.
The official app now appears to be unavailable from Google Play, but fans can stream ‘Magna Carta…Holy Grail’ this week exclusively via Spotify.