SourceForge takes down Anonymous operating system

The open-source collaboration website SourceForge has taken down an Ubuntu Linux OS project purportedly affiliated with online hactivist group Anonymous, after a review by security experts

The open-source collaboration website SourceForge has taken down an Ubuntu Linux operating system (OS) project purportedly affiliated with online hacktivist group Anonymous, after a review by security experts.

The OS has implied links with the Anonymous hacktivist group, according to the BBC.

But SourceForge said there was no evidence the project was connected with Anonymous, the OS had an intentionally misleading name and was not transparent. 

SourceForge emphasised the substantial risk people were taking in downloading and installing the Linux distribution. More than 26,000 people downloaded the OS before SourceForge took it down.

Although the project initially appeared to be a security-related operating system, SourceForge said experts verified that it was a security risk and not merely a distribution of security-related utilities, as the project page implied.

"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," the SourceForge community team wrote in a blog.

"By taking an intentionally misleading name, this project has attempted to capitalise on the press surrounding a well-known movement to push downloads of a project that is less than a week old," they said.

The creators of the software, which included website sniffing and security tools, claimed they put it together for checking the security of web pages.

Soon after the operating system became available, the AnonOps account on Twitter posted a message saying it was fake and wrapped in Trojans.

Although the allegation by the official Anonymous group has not been verified by independent analysis, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for security firm Sophos, said he would not be surprised if there were a Trojan element sneaked into the Anonymous OS.

"Don't forget, earlier this year, we saw hacktivists tricked into installing a Trojanised version of the Slowloris Denial of Service tool," he wrote in a blog post.

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