The controversial Anonymous-OS has been removed from SourceForge’s website, following reports the software posed a security risk, and that it was not connected in anyway to the hacktivist group Anonymous.
Initially released on 13 March, Anonymous-OS quickly became infamous, as it was denounced as a fake by various “official” Anonymous Twitter accounts, and many warned of malicious software potentially installed inside.
In response to the coverage, SourceForge subsequently removed Anonymous-OS from its website, stating in a blog post that the “intentionally misleading name,” and independent verification that it was “a security risk” led to the decision.
SourceForge linked to a BBC article when stating the software had been confirmed as a security risk, where quotes from web security experts Trend Micro and Sophos were published.
Trend dismissed it as a “pale imitation of Back Track,” but at the time hadn’t investigated the code for malicious software, while a researcher at Sophos warned people to “be very cautious.”
Over at ArsTechnica.com, an intrepid reporter downloaded the operating system and had a dig around. While his initial investigation didn’t reveal the presence of any viruses, he did point out that the pre-installed attack tool known as Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) was a security risk all on its own.
The developer of Anonymous-OS continues to argue that the software is safe, and has posted the results of a Rootkit Hunter test demonstrating it, however with no way to prove the test itself hasn’t been tampered with, it’s unlikely to change many people’s minds.
It’s not necessarily the end for Anonymous-OS yet though, as SourceForge has reached out to the project’s administrator to clarify the situation and could reinstate it as a download in the future, but for now it will remain offline.