Hackers Publish Symantec's Source Code After $50,000 Extortion Attempt Fails

Illustration for article titled Hackers Publish Symantecs Source Code After $50,000 Extortion Attempt Fails

Hacker YamaTough has published Symantec's pcAnywhere's source code. This program is used by users and companies to access personal computers remotely. The publication follows a $50,000 extortion attempt that was made public last night.

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After entering Symantec's network and grabbing pcAnywhere and Norton Antivirus source code, hacker YamaTough told the company that their software contained backdoors that allow governments to spy on individuals and companies. According to the email exchange, he also said that he was going to publish these facts and the source code unless Symantec paid him $50,000.

Following that threat, Symantec contacted the FBI. Their agents then posed as Symantec employees, trying to gather proof of the extortion. The email exchange showing the conversation between YamaTough—who claims to be associated with Anonymous and AntiSec—and the FBI was published last night. This was YamaTough last message:

Since no code yet being released and our email communication wasn't also released we give you 10 minutes to decide which way you go after that two of your codes fly to the moon PCAnywhere and Norton Antivirus totaling 2350MB in size (rar) 10 minutes if no reply from you we consider it a START this time we've made mirrors so it will be hard for you to get rid of it.

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He has completed the first part of this threat, publishing the 1.27GB of source code from pcAnywhere on Pirate Bay.

I like when any hacker publishes hidden truths and denounces backdoors that everyone should know about. Asking for money not to tell this information, however, is not only hypocritical and criminal, but not cool at all. This is not fighting for anyone's rights. This is just trying to get money easily. [Pirate Bay via Computer World]

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DISCUSSION

LordHelmet
LordHelmet

My favorite part of the "negotiation" is when the Symantec employee/FBI Agent said the following:

"We can't pay you $50,000 at once for the reasons we discussed previously. We can pay you $2,500 per month for the first three months. In exchange, you will make a public statement on behalf of your group that you lied about the hack (as you previously stated). Once that's done, we will pay the rest of the $50,000 to your account and you can take it all out at once."

Apparently they WERE willing to pay to make this go away, it just had to include an outright lie to the public from the hackers.