Anonymous this week warned against downloading the new “Anonymous OS,” suggesting it was full of malware that could harm your system and steal your personal information.
“The Anon OS is fake it is wrapped in trojans,” the @AnonOps feed tweeted.
“#Protip – Don’t use Anonymous OS, we don’t know anything about it and can’t vouch for it,” the @YourAnonNews account chimed in.
As PCMag’s sister site, Geek.com, pointed out this week, an Ubuntu-based live CD called Anonymous-OS cropped up online recently, suggesting that the hacker collective was moving from DDoS attacks and social networks to more involved software efforts.
But Geek’s Lee Mathews said “it’s much 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.”
News of the OS comes several weeks after a report from Symantec indicated that some Anonymous members were tricked into downloading and running a fairly unpleasant Trojan alongside one of their DDoS tools.
This, according to security firm Sophos, is reason enough to leave the Anonymous OS alone.
“When I first heard about Anonymous OS a couple of days ago, I instantly asked myself why would anyone want to put their trust in a piece of unknown software, written by unknown people, promoted on an Anonymous Tumblr webpage that you don’t know is safe or not?” Sophos analyst Graham Cluley wrote in a blog post.
Cluley quipped that the Anonymous OS would make a lovely plot point in a cybercrime novel in which the feds secretly captured hackers’ identities. After all, the FBI was working with prolific hacker Sabu for months before he and his colleagues were arrested for their hacking exploits this year.
“Stranger things have happened,” Cluley wrote.
“Anonymous OS isn’t a threat to the average guy in the street or to office workers, the only people who might be impacted by it are those who are foolish enough to knowingly install unknown software onto their computers,” he continued.
It appears that some people have been foolish enough to try it out; Cluley said more than 20,000 people have downloaded the file.