Anonymous announces a new - somewhat official - OS. (Img: Anonymous)
After the questionable release of Anonymous-OS this week, which eventually led to it being pulled by SourceForge for a lack of transparency, a new version from a different set of Anons is in the works.
On Twitter, an Anon going by @N3m35151 told The Tech Herald that the new project is going to be maintained by others with credibility. One of the major changes with Official AnonOS (AnonOS for short) and Anonymous-OS is the fact that the code is completely open, and the source will be available.
“It differs from Anonymous-OS by not being so shady,” N3m35151 told us, “and being created by credible people.”
There’ll also be more options to pick from, he added. “For example, we have flavor N3wB100d which is given to new Anons. This flavor includes tutorials and beginner tools and show them around Linux.”
Earlier this week, the public was introduced to Anonymous-OS. Released on top of Ubuntu, Anonymous-OS was backed with several tools, including LOIC, HOIC, Slowloris, Havij, and more. TOR was also included, but it wasn’t enabled by default.
Several active Anons and the public speculated that the release had backdoor access included, in order to monitor users or perform other malicious tasks. Some went so far as to claim that law enforcement agencies had developed and released the tool as some sort of sting operation.
In the end, the lack of transparency is what led to it being pulled from SourceForge.
“This project isn’t transparent with regard to what’s in it. It is critical that security-related software be completely open to peer review (i.e., by providing source code), so that risks may be assessed along with benefits. That is not available in this case, and the result is that people are taking a substantial risk in downloading and installing this distribution,” SourceForge said in a blog post.
“Furthermore, by taking an intentionally misleading name, this project has attempted to capitalize on the press surrounding a well-known movement in order to push downloads of a project that is less than a week old.”
The Tech Herald has learned that the base for AnonOS will be Lubuntu 11.10, touted as a lightweight and energy saving alterative to Ubuntu, due to the use of LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) as the default GUI.
As mentioned, the N3wB100d (NewBlood) version of AnonOS is aimed at those unfamiliar with Linux, and will house tutorials on tool usage. The NewBlood version will also be released without console access, in order to make it easier to use.
Another version, D3f4c3r (Defacer), will enable console access and offer tools for website defacement. There are additional variants in the works too, including some that include the tools needed for rooting servers, one for DDoS, one that focuses on programming, and one that is nothing more than the desktop environment itself.
Work on the project started Thursday evening, but a beta version is said to be released soon. The software will be released as a LiveCD and USB bootable.