Anonymous-OS is here, but you probably shouldn’t download it

Anonymous-OS ScreenshotA computer operating system named Anonymous-OS has been made available for download, and although originally believed to be the work of the hactivist group with which the OS shares its name, its legitimacy and raison d’être has since been called into question.

The OS itself has been built on Ubuntu and uses Mate desktop, and comes complete with a wide range of pre-installed apps one would rarely download under normal circumstances. For example, you’ll get the password cracker John the Ripper, Ddosim, a tool for simulating distributed denial of service attacks, and Sql Poison, which searches websites for security vulnerabilities.

If you’re still unsure of what Anonymous-OS is designed to facilitate, an About page on the OS’s Tumblr page uses the age-old “created for educational purposes” disclaimer, before adding it’s “to checking [sic] the security of web pages” and that anyone who uses it to “attack any web page, might end up in jail because is [sic] a crime in most countries.”

Slightly less worrying tools which come with Anonymous-OS include the universal chat client Pidgin, the network protocol analyzer Wireshark and the use of the DuckDuckGo search engine as standard.

It’s currently available through SourceForge, where it has attracted in excess of 20,000 downloads.

Genuine, or Fake?

So, if you’re after some online anonymity, is Anonymous-OS for you? No, probably not, especially given the subsequent response from Anonymous spokespersons.

A tweet from @AnonOps says “The Anon OS is fake it is wrapped in trojans,” and another from @YourAnonNews says “Seeing lots of news about just-released purported “Anonymous OS.” BE CAREFUL! Remember the Zeus Trojan incident w/Slowloris recently!”

This refers to the Zeus Trojan code being placed inside Slowloris, a network security tool favored by Anonymous, which appeared to be a case of someone “hacking the hackers.” Slowloris comes pre-installed inside Anonymous-OS.

The Hacker News also added a warning to its coverage of the new software, saying “It’s not developed by any genuine source, can be backdoored OS by any law enforcement company or hacker. Use at your own risk.” Wise words we feel.

Since this outburst of negative press, the creators of Anonymous-OS have hit back with a Tumblr post, directly quoting the above statements and saying that “in our world, in Linux and open source, there is not [sic] virus,” then adding that the world shouldn’t be misled into thinking Linux is dangerous. There’s no direct denial of the accusations, however.

Is the Anonymous-OS a virus-filled nightmare, or an official move into creating a more secure and private system for Anonymous members, cleverly obfuscated by these various warnings? All will no doubt be revealed in time, but if you’re considering checking out the software for yourself, just be advised there’s considerable risk attached.


Happy Valentine’s Day! Coffee Meets Bagel dating app data may have been breached

Are you planning on using Coffee Meets Bagel to find love on Valentine's Day? If you've been using the app for a while, you'll probably want to change your password -- the company said a data breach may have taken place before May 2018.

PDF to JPG conversion is as quick as a few clicks with these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.
Smart Home

Abode Systems taps HelloTech for professional security system installations

Abode Systems has been expanding into the smart home security market and will enhance its technology with a new partnership with tech support firm HelloTech, which will install its security systems for a fee.

Windows 7 is still immensely popular. Is it really better than Windows 10?

With the end of support of Windows 7 approaching, have you been holding off on upgrading to Windows 10? In this guide, we give look at some of the biggest differences between the most popular operating systems.

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website Here's how the impressive A.I. works.

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.

Wi-Fi helps connect all of our devices at high-speed, but what exactly is it?

What is Wi-Fi? It's a technology we all use everyday to connect all of our portable devices, but understanding how it works and how far it's come from its humble beginnings is another thing entirely.