Anti-Government Surveillance Hackers Clone Jay-Z Android App

Images of the album were replaced by an image of the president wearing earphones and the strapline, “Yes we scan.”

An Android app that is part of the marketing campaign for Jay-Z‘s new Magna Carta Holy Grail album has been cloned by hackers and used to send anti-government messages.


According to Internet security firm McAfee, which discovered the hack last week, the malware is thought to be a protest against the recent NSA surveillance scandal. Although the legitimate version of the app, available on Google Play, is clean, pirated versions on illegal download sites contain the Trojan, which was programmed to replace an image on the original with a photo of President Obama wearing earphones with a slogan, “Yes, we scan.”

Mr. Carter, as Jay-Z is known to his bank manager, did a deal with Samsung that allowed Samsung smartphone owners to download the album three days before its official release, on July 7.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.