Well Graham, I was one of the 26,000 and I downloaded it to see for
myself what it is. Its a very fast and functional distro. Please do
let us know if you find any viruses in it, just don't wait three
months like you did with the Cnet wrapper fiasco.
*Anonymous operating system prompts security warnings*
More than 26,000 people have downloaded an operating system which
members of the Anonymous hacker group claim to have created.
The software is based on a version of the open-source operating
system Linux and comes outfitted with lots of website sniffing and
The "official" Anonymous group has distanced itself from the
In a widely circulated tweet, AnonOps claimed the operating system
was riddled with viruses.
The operating system is available via the Source Forge website - a
well-known repository for many custom code projects.
The 1.5GB download is based on Ubuntu - one of the most popular
versions of the Linux operating system. The software's creators say
they put it together for "education purposes to checking the
security of web pages (sic)".
It asked people not to use it to destroy webpages.
Soon after the operating system became available, the AnonOps
account on Twitter posted a message saying it was fake and "wrapped
The creators of the OS denied it was infected with viruses adding
that, in the world of open-source software, "there were no viruses".
After downloading and running the software, Rik Ferguson, director
of Trend Micro's European security research efforts, said it was "a
functional OS with a bunch of pre-installed tools that can be used
for things like looking for [database] vulnerabilities or password
It also included tools such as Tor that can mask a person's online
activities. In many ways, he said, it was a pale imitation of a
version of Linux known as Back Track that also comes with many
security tools already installed.
Mr Ferguson said he was starting work to find out if there were any
viruses or booby-traps buried in the code.
Graham Cluley, senior researcher at hi-tech security firm Sophos,
wondered who would be tempted to use it.
"Who would want to put their trust in a piece of unknown software
written by unknown people on a webpage that they don't know is safe
or not?" he asked.
He warned people to be very wary, adding that some hacktivists keen
to support the work of Anonymous had been tricked earlier in the
year into installing a booby-trapped attack tool.
"Folks would be wise to be very cautious," he said.
I recently took up ice sculpting. Last night I made an ice cube.
This morning I made 12, I was prolific. -Mitch Hedberg