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Hackers request $50,000 to keep Symantec code private

Based on a recent report published by CNET News, a group of hackers tried to extort $50,000 from Symantec in order to keep their source code private. The company told the hacker group that they will pay the requested sum of money in tranches so they could rest assure that the online outlaws respect their part of the deal.

Symantec’s employee, Sam Thomas has been negotiating with a group of hackers named Yamatough to prevent the release of PCAnywhere and Norton Antivirus code. Yamatough, however, is not willing to accept other offers besides the $50,000 sum.

Thomas wrote an email to Yamatough on Thursday letting them know that the company has agreed to pay the requested sum of money on condition that they respect their part of the deal. For that, Symantec will pay $2,500 a month for the first three months starting next week. After this three-month period, the hackers will have to prove that they have destroyed the source code if they want to receive the rest of the money.

The extortion campaign was confirmed by the security software company through a press release. Spokespersons refused to provide other pieces of information because the investigation is still ongoing. Last night, Yamatough’s patience broke down, so they urged the company to accept their request within 30 minutes, otherwise they would have made the source code public.

The group of hackers also threatened Symantec by telling them that the situation will get worse if the software company tries to track their emails or to contact the FBI. Thomas tried to calm hackers down by offering them $1,000, but the latter rejected the deal. Later on, they sent an email announcing the company that the source code will be released in 10 minutes. Thomas explained that 10 minutes are not enough to take such an important decision.

At 9:15 p.m., a 1.2GB file labeled “Symantec’s PCAnywhere Leaked Source Code” was posted on the Pirate Bay. Journalists at CNET contacted the Cupertino firm to find out whether the file is authentic, but spokespersons haven’t provided any answer yet.

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1 Comment

  1. From what other articles I’ve read, this seems to be an incomplete article. “Sam Thomas” was actually an FBI agent posing as representative from Symantec and Mr Thomas seemed to be the one who offered the $50,000 sum to the hacker and when the hacker found out Mr Thomas was really a law enforcement agent, that is when negotiations fell apart.

    http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Anon-Lets-Fly-With-Symantec-Code-After-Ransom-Talks-Collapse-74370.html

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