Symantec confirms code extortion attempt

Feb. 7, 2012 at 7:50 PM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. security software maker Symantec has confirmed a hacker tried to extort $50,000 after stealing source code to several of its software titles.

Symantec confirmed it was cooperating with a sting operation while communicating via e-mail with a hacker claiming ties to the notorious activist hackers group "Anonymous," tech Web site reported Tuesday.

Symantec said it was contacted in January by someone identified as Yamatough who claimed to be in possession of the company's proprietary source code for its Norton Antivirus and PCAnywhere software.

After offering code samples as proof, the hacker demanded $50,000 to prevent the release of the code.

"In January an individual claiming to be part of the 'Anonymous' group attempted to extort a payment from Symantec in exchange for not publicly posting stolen Symantec source code they claimed to have in their possession," a Symantec representative told CNET in a statement.

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

Negotiations between Symantec and the hacker apparently broke down and a 1.2 gigabyte file titled "Symantec's pcAnywhere Leaked Source Code" was posted to the Pirate Bay file-sharing site late Monday.

Symantec had not yet confirmed whether or not the code within the file is authentic, reported.

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