Symantec not sure what happens next.
Yesterday, after month long negotiations finally broke down between the hacker group and Symantec, Anonymous leaked the source code for Symantec’s PCAnywhere software. The source code was actually stolen in late December or early January of this year, after which Symantec apparently tried to handle the situation by paying the hacker group $50,000 to not leak the code.
Turns out the entire negotiations were just a setup by law enforcement officers, trying to lure the hackers in order to get their information. The entire email thread has been posted online for everyone to see by the Lords of Dharamaja, one of the hacker groups associated with Anonymous. Posting on his Twitter, one of the hackers, Yama Tough, wrote, “You won’t believe it but Symantec offered us money to keep quiet.”
According to Symantec spokesperson Cris Paden who told Forbes in an interview, “Symantec began to receive emails from the hackers a few days later, in which the group demanded money not to publish the portion of Symantec’s source code it hadn’t yet released.”
“When they came to us with what was for all intents and purposes extortion, we went to law enforcement,” says Paden. “From that point on, we turned over the investigation to them.” Eventually after the month long sting operation that didn’t go as intended, Anonymous finally released the source code yesterday on file sharing sites around the world. “We’re able to say with high confidence, any type of cyber attacks generated by this attack would have old characteristics and look like an attack from 2006 that can easily be stopped using current versions of our solutions,” says Paden as Symantec is still analyzing the leaked code. “Our customers are protected.”
The effectiveness of the sting operation by the unnamed law enforcement agencies isn’t clear yet, as the investigation of this leak against one of the world’s biggest security firm is still under way. “As to what happens next,” Paden says. “We’re not really sure.”