Hackers tried to extort $50K from Symantec over source code

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A hacker group has attempted to extort $50,000 from Symantec to keep the company's source code private. This was confirmed by Symantec in a statement, which noted that "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." This took place in the second half of January, and Symantec says that communications took place as part of a law enforcement investigation.

As reported on CNET News, the details of the negotiation have been posted to Pastebin, which shows a series of e-mail exchanges between a purported Symantec employee named Sam Thomas and an individual called "Yamatough." The discussions apparently took place over a number of weeks, though the deal was never completed as Yamatough lost patience over the inability to agree on a payment processor to transfer the funds.

Symantec previously warned against the use of pcAnywhere in the wake of its source code being stolen, though the warning was subsequently dropped after the company released a number of security patches for the popular remote access software. In view of Symantec's statement that it was working with law enforcement agencies, the alleged correspondences posted on Pastebin make it clear that the company was working to entrap the hackers.

The reputation of Symantec as a leading security software maker has taken a beating over the source code theft, and the entire debacle serves as a confirmation that even security companies are not immune to security breaches.

For more:
- check out this article at CNET News

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