The online news site The Intercept said US intelligence developed the plan with allies in Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, a group known as the "Five Eyes" alliance.
    
The report, based on a document leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, said the plan aimed to step up surveillance efforts on smartphones.
    
The plan appeared to have been discussed at meetings involving the intelligence services in 2011 and 2012, according to the classified document.
    
The project called "Irritant Horn" would allow the agencies to hijack data connections to app stores and surreptitiously implant malicious software on smartphones that would allow for data to be harvested.
    
The intelligence agencies could also use the spyware to send misinformation to targets to confuse potential adversaries, according to the report.
    
The Intercept said the plan was motivated in part by concerns about the possibility of "another Arab Spring," or the spread of popular movements.