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Anonymous OS: Worth the risk?


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Possibly from within the ranks of the hacktivist collective comes an Ubuntu-based operating system meant for "educational purposes." Or maybe we'll learn it's packed with Trojans.

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Anonymous OS Live is a Ubuntu-based operating system.

The hacking group Anonymous may or may not have launched its very own operating system.

Dubbed Anonymous OS Live, the operating system, which is available as a free download on Sourceforge, is based on the Ubuntu version of Linux. According to a description on the Sourceforge page, the operating system is designed for "educational purposes" and can also be used to check "the security of Web pages."

The people behind the software have set up a Tumblr page providing news and updates on the software. Those folks yesterday announced that the OS had been downloaded over 4,600 times.

What's not immediately clear is just who it is behind the operating system. Anonymous has no central hierarchy, and in many cases, parts of the group break off from the main sector to engage in their own activities. In other words, there is no easy way to know if this operating system has been endorsed by the whole group, or is the brainchild of just a few members.

That has been made abundantly clear in a tweet sent out yesterday, and another this morning, by @Anonops, a Twitter account that is believed to speak for Anonymous. @Anonops wrote that the operating system "is fake" and "wrapped in trojans."

Whoever's promoting the OS sought to allay fears.

"Please people, in our world, in Linux and opensource world, there is not virus (sic)," the people behind Anonymous OS Live wrote this morning in response. "If any user believe that Anonymous-OS 'is wrapped in trojans' or 'backdoored OS by any Law enforcement Company or Hacker,' please don't download it! But don't mislead the world that Linux is dangerous and has trojans!"

As of this writing, Anonymous OS Live has been downloaded nearly 21,000 times. It has been recommended by 36 people, while 22 have said that it's best to steer clear.

Still, the folks behind the operating system don't want anyone using it for illegal purposes. In an "about" page, Anonymous writes that users should not "attack" Web pages, adding that "the user has total responsibility for any illegal act."

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"Please people, in our world, in Linux and opensource world, there is not virus (sic)," the people behind Anonymous OS Live wrote this morning in response. "If any user believe that Anonymous-OS 'is wrapped in trojans' or 'backdoored OS by any Law enforcement Company or Hacker,' please don't download it! But don't mislead the world that Linux is dangerous and has trojans!"

Don't mislead the world that Linux (and Macs) don't have trojans/virus. They do, it's just that no one gives a shit. If you're going to create a trojan/virus - would you rather fuck with the 5 people running Linux or a Mac... or the 50,000 people running a Windows system?

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SourceForge pulls Anonymous-OS

The suspicious operating system “Anonymous-OS Live” is no longer available on SourceForge because the project isn’t transparent and is trying to capitalize on the Anonymous name.

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Earlier this week, someone created a Tumblr webpage for a new operating system called “Anonymous-OS Live.”. Reliable Anonymous sources denounced the release, but despite the warnings, tens of thousands still downloaded it. You could download it as a torrent and via direct download, but as of today, only the former option. SourceForge has taken it down:

SourceForge, and the Open Source community as a whole, values transparency, particularly where issues of security are involved. This project isn’t transparent with regard to what’s in it. It is critical that security-related software be completely open to peer review (i.e., by providing source code), so that risks may be assessed along with benefits. That is not available in this case, and the result is that people are taking a substantial risk in downloading and installing this distribution.

Furthermore, by taking an intentionally misleading name, this project has attempted to capitalize on the press surrounding a well-known movement in order to push downloads of a project that is less than a week old.

We have therefore decided to take this download offline and suspend this project until we have more information that might lead us to think differently. We’ll be in touch with the project admin, and let you know if and when we find out anything to contrary, but for now, that’s what we’re doing.

Ars Technica used the operating system before it was taken down. Here’s the crux:

I had the audacity to download it just before Sourceforge shut the project down, loading it up on a virtual machine and installing it to a bootable USB. And honestly, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about—Anonymous-OS is nothing more than a snapshot of a system running Ubuntu 11.10 with a few minor tweaks, redistributed as a live-boot ISO, and packaged with the usual collection of “educational” security tools (some of which may in fact expose you to law enforcement attention).

In short, if you downloaded it, you can use it. Just know that it really doesn’t offer much of an advantage, and that the hacktivist group Anonymous doesn’t back it.

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why didn't anyone think about making a hacker dedicated OS before?

running on VM behind proxy switcher Pro... some of the tools are nice though.

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