Symantec hackers: We've released pcAnywhere source code


Hackers using the Anonymous name have continued their baiting of security giant Symantec, releasing what they claim to be source code for pcAnywhere.

The release on Pirate Bay came after law enforcement set up a sting operation in which the hackers demanded $50,000 in return for keeping the source code offline, Symantec said.

The hackers, meanwhile, said they had not made any ransom requests.

"Symantec has been lying to its customers. We exposed this point thus spreading the world that ppl need," the message accompanying the Pirate Bay release read.

Symantec has sought to distance itself from claims that it led the sting operation.

"Anonymous actually reached out to us, first, saying that if we provided them with money, they would not post any more source code," the company said.

"At that point, given that it was a clear cut case of extortion, we contacted law enforcement and turned the investigation over to them. All subsequent communications were actually between Anonymous and law enforcement agents - not Symantec."

However, the hacker claiming to be behind the Lords of Dharmaraja, supposedly an Anonymous off shoot, said Symantec had approached them rather than the other way around.

"You won't believe it but Symantec offered us money to keep quiet," a tweet from @YamaTough read.

The same user has indicated they plan to release information relating to Norton Antivirus. "NAV release coming in 7 hours," another tweet read.

The hacker has posted what they claim to be bits of code for Norton Utilities and other programs online over the past few weeks.

For IT guys

The security giant has stuck with the advice it gave customers last week, asking them to update the remote access software so vulnerabilities exposed by the source code leak were patched.

Initially, Symantec had advised customers to turn pcAnywhere off entirely.

"Symantec recommends that customers ensure pcAnywhere 12.5 is installed, apply all relevant patches as they are released, and follow general security best practices," the security firm said.

"If customers are unable to adhere to this guidance and have not installed the latest version with current patches, we recommend that they contact for additional assistance."

Symantec released a patch on 23 January eliminating known vulnerabilities affecting customers using pcAnywhere 12.5. On 27 January, Symantec released a patch doing the same for customers using pcAnywhere 12.0 and pcAnywhere 12.1.

The source code leak stems back to a successful hack on Symantec's network. At the time, Symantec was unsure about exactly what was taken.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.