This week a couple of names in information security and the hacking of said information have popped up in relation to one another once again, Symantec accusing certain downloads of Anonymous web tools of containing malware in and of themselves. It is with the tools in question that the utterly massive hacker collective known as Anonymous is able to carry out DoS attacks with the help of users all around the world. What Symantec is saying today is that these tools, or at least some versions of the downloads of these tools, also contain malware that infects the user’s own machine at the same time as they attack others.
There are two things going on here, one of them being what appears to be Symantec reporting on a case dealing with security, as they often do, attempting to keep the public safe and promote their security software at the same time. The second thing you’ve got to consider is that the software they’re warning about is the same that Anonymous, the hacker collective who had some members hold Symantec software hostage very recently, uses on the regular. Two possibilities exist here:
1) That Symantec is simply warning against some versions of this software so that Anonymous members can be safe in the future from wrong-acting distribution of software.
2) That Symantec is attempting to scare possible users of the software out of joining Anonymous and reigning havoc upon their servers.
Either way, trouble is a brewing. Have a peek at some text written up by Symantec this week in regards to this situation:
“Anonymous supporters have been deceived into installing Zeus botnet clients purportedly for the purpose of DoS attacks. The Zeus client does perform DoS attacks, but it doesn’t stop there. It also steals the users’ online banking credentials, webmail credentials, and cookies. … An attacker took a popular PasteBin guide, used by Anonymous members for downloading and using the DoS tool Slowloris, and modified it.” – Symantec
Believe it or not, it is very possible that Symantec is acting in the right here. Even though they’ve had run-ins with Anonymous in the past, this is an issue that could effect thousands of users who would otherwise unsuspectingly be displaying their personal info without their knowledge. For more information on this particular download head to the Symantec Blog Post and be sure to hit up the timeline below to get the whole back-story on Symantec’s involvement with Anonymous as of late.