The United States and the rest of the "Five Eyes" group, which also includes the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, aimed to infect apps available in the Google Play store with spyware.
Even though the US and UK are well known for spying on their own citizens, among foreign nationals, it looks like this spying campaign was designed to target non-US residents. The effort reportedly began in late 2011 with an effort to infect the Alibaba-owned UC Browser, which runs on Google Android, Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows Phone, Symbian, Java ME, and BlackBerry.
The idea that Five Eyes wanted to spy on users isn't overly surprising, but possible ramifications don't leave users at ease.
"Let's step back from intent... just because the Five Eyes agreed not to spy on each other doesn't mean they themselves can't be hacked or their methods used by others, both domestic and foreign, who are not a part of this arrangement," said Rob Enderle, principal at the Enderle Group, in a statement to TechNewsWorld. "Once a methodology like this is established and validated, the idea could migrate worldwide."