An open-source OS that carries the Anonymous name is available for download, but tweets from a Twitter account associated with the hacker group claim that the collective did not create it.
A Linux-based operating system that may or may not have come
from members of the hacker collective Anonymous is stirring up a lot of debate.
The operating system, called Anonymous OS Live, has popped up
as a 32-bit download that reportedly is loaded with hacker tools. According to
the creators of the Ubuntu-based operating system, Anonymous OS Live was "created for educational purposes, to checking the
security of Web pages." At the same time, they also urge users to "use
any tool to destroy any Web page :) If you attack to any Web page, might end up in jail because is a
crime in most countries!" They also say that the user "has total
responsibility for any illegal act."
The key question is whether the operating
system is safe, and whether Anonymous is really behind it. Given Anonymous'
natureincluding having no central leadership, a revolving door of hackers who
claim membership and the tendency for some members to run their own operations
under the Anonymous bannerit can be difficult to know whether an operation is
actually being run by Anonymous.
And that is the situation with Anonymous OS
In several tweets on the @Anonops Twitter
account, which has been used in the past for communications from Anonymous, the
writers warn people from downloading the operating system, claiming it's "fake"
and "wrapped in trojans."
Others also are questioning the veracity of
the creators' claims. Geek.com
columnist Lee Matthews
said everything about the OSincluding the language
used to promote itrings false.
"To say that Anonymous has released
their own operating system doesn't quite
accurate," Matthews wrote. "Sure, the Tumblr page is slathered in
Anon 'branding' and the disc includes an assortment of security, hacking, and
DDoS [distributed denial-of-service] tools (including Slowloris and HOIC). But
the text on the about page doesn't read like the usual Anonymous missives. For
example, there's a warning against using the software for malicious purposes. ¦
It's a far cry from the bold anti-authoritarian language that we've seen before
in 'official' Anonymous releases."
It's more likely "that
this is the work of one individual who wanted to see what he or she could do
with the Ubuntu Live CD Creator," he wrote.
However, in response to the statements in the @Anonops
tweets, the Anonymous OS Live creators in a note on a Tumblr
page asked users to not be
taken in by the claims that the operating system is loaded with malware.
"Please people ¦ in our world, in Linux and
opensource world, there is not(sic) virus," they wrote. "If any
user believe that Anonymous-OS 'is wrapped in trojans' or 'backdoored OS
by any Law enforcement Company or Hacker' please don't download it! But don't
mislead the world that Linux is dangerous and has trojans!"
There appear to be many people who are not concerned about
the malware threats. By 11:30 ET March 15, the OS had been downloaded more than
37,000 times, with 42 people recommending it and another 36 speaking out