Computer security firm Symantec extorted by hackers

February 7th, 2012 in Technology / Internet
Computer security firm Symantec on Tuesday confirmed it tried to turn the tables on hackers who threatened to release stolen source code if a demand for $50,000 was not met.


Computer security firm Symantec on Tuesday confirmed it tried to turn the tables on hackers who threatened to release stolen source code if a demand for $50,000 was not met.

Computer security firm Symantec on Tuesday confirmed it tried to turn the tables on hackers who threatened to release stolen source code if a demand for $50,000 was not met.

An email exchange posted online at pastebin.com revealed how negotiated with "Yamatough," a supposed affiliate of Anonymous, to pay an extortion demand.

"The communications with the person(s) attempting to extort the payment from Symantec were part of the law enforcement investigation," the firm said in a released statement.

"Given that the investigation is still ongoing, we are not going to disclose the involved and have no additional information to provide."

No money ever changed hands.

Symantec recommended in January that users of its pcAnywhere software disable the product following the theft of source code from the California-based .

Symantec subsequently said that the latest release of the software is defended from attack and released an upgrade to protect older versions.

Symantec, in a technical white paper posted in January on the firm's website, said the vulnerability to pcAnywhere, which allows for remote PC to PC connections, was the result of a 2006 theft of source code by hackers.

"We believe that source code for the 2006-era versions of the following products was exposed: Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition; Norton Internet Security; Norton SystemWorks (Norton Utilities and Norton GoBack); and pcAnywhere," Symantec said.

The only identified threat, however, was to pcAnywhere and not any of the Norton products.

(c) 2012 AFP

"Computer security firm Symantec extorted by hackers." February 7th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-02-firm-symantec-extorted-hackers.html