A group of hackers known as Yamatough has released the source code for Symantec’s PCAnywhere product after negotiating by email with whom they thought were representatives of Symantec. The group originally demanded $50000 to keep the code private, was actually negotiating with law enforcement ,and claim that the intent was humiliate Symantec and not accept the $50000.
Symantec has confirmed that the code for PC Anywhere was stolen and posted, but the code was for the 2006 version, and security patches have been released since the threat was received.
Since January 23, Symantec has been reaching out to customers, with a more a secure version 12.5 of the PCAnywhere software, and several patches that can be applied to previous versions. They have also been strongly advising customers to follow the best security practises.
The Lords of Dharmaraja, as the group calls itself, originally claimed that the code was found after breaking into networks of the Indian military intelligent service, however ,Symantec later revealed that the code for PCAnywhere was stolen when the company’s network was broken into in 2006. The code was stolen along with several other products.
Customers were originally warned to disable the application, but it was declared safe after the security patches were issued.
Symantec has also revealed that code for other applications such as Norton Internet Security, Antivirus Corporate Edition, and Norton System Works were also stolen, and are they are anticipating public release. The company also insists that codes are for dated versions of the products, and there is no risk to current customers.
It is ironic that a software security company can itself be vulnerable to attacks from hackers, and shows how vulnerable the web really may be.
Symantec spokeman, Chris Paden explains that the company cannot comment or provide more information on the incident, since the case is still under investigation, but he did outline some of the steps the company has taken to boost its defense against cyberattacks.
Some of the steps include
- Improved security, with hardened and significant strengthening of the server resources that house the repository of source codes.
- Enhancements have been made to the monitoring of the networks, and improved data loss prevention procedures have been implemented.
- Employees have been retrained in new internal security processes, and new hierarchical compartmentalized employee access process, ensures that access is restricted to areas that are commensurate with their roles.
There is presently no way of knowing if these measures are successful at preventing attacks, until the occurrence of another security breach, but is should draw some attention to the fact that hackers are still very active on the Internet, and it should not be left only to Corporations, but as users, we need to remain vigilant and protective of our data at all times.
The tendency may often be to say, and believe that hackers are only after big corporations, but they also actively use everyday users to perpetrate their activities. Many computer users may discover after the fact that some of the resources they have, may have unknowingly been used in security breaches.
Marcus C. Is a self taught programmer that thought himself to code at an early age. He writes regularly and contributes to several blogs including bitdefender coupons. He is concerned about security and you can read more at Norton discounts. Reach Marcus at www.dailydeals4you.com.