‘Anonymous OS’ now Offline

Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 03:03 PM gHale

An Ubuntu-based operating system touting it was from Anonymous ended up pulled from the SourceForge site because of complaints Trojans permeated the software.

Called “Anonymous-OS”, users downloaded the operating system from SourceForge nearly 40,000 times before SourceForge took it down.

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Apparently, affiliates of the Anonymous collective are not happy. One of the more popular Anonymous Twitter accounts, AnonOps, said last week the AnonOS was fake and “wrapped in Trojans.” Another account, YourAnonNews, warned users they “can’t vouch for it.”

The OS came with pre-installed tools for password cracking and scanning for database vulnerabilities, said Trend Micro’s Rik Ferguson. It also included tools such as Tor that can disguise someone’s online activities, he added. Among those tools were programs like Sql Poison and Sqlmap.

In a statement on their site, the SourceForge team said it normally does not pass judgment on a download based on what someone using it could possibly do, but decided to act after security experts verified it was a security risk “and not merely a distribution of security-related utilities, as the project page implies.”

“This project isn’t transparent with regard to what’s in it,” SourceForge said. “It is critical that security-related software be completely open to peer review, so that risks may be assessed along with benefits. That is not available in this case, and the result is that people are taking a substantial risk in downloading and installing this distribution. Furthermore, by taking an intentionally misleading name, this project has attempted to capitalize on the press surrounding a well-known movement in order to push downloads of a project that is less than a week old.”

“Proceed with caution if you’re thinking of downloading and installing Anonymous OS, the purported new operating system from the Anonymous collective…the only people who might be impacted by it are those who are foolish enough to knowingly install unknown software onto their computers,” blogged Sophos Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley. “Nevertheless, our advice to folks is clear — be wary!”

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