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Anonymous “operating system” is a malware-loaded fake

Anonymous has launched its own operating system. Or rather, it hasn’t. Or it might have. Confused? We don’t blame you, either.

To explain: The news first broke that “hacktivist” collective Anonymous had produced an Ubuntu-based operating system, loaded with tools for sniffing out website vulnerabilities, simulating denial-of-services attacks and other net-based naughtiness.

Although it turns out, according to Anonymous, that the organisation has launched no such thing, and the OS is merely a malware harbouring device designed to pillage the computers of those foolish enough to download it.

The AnonOps Twitter account announced: “The Anon OS is fake it is wrapped in trojans.”

There was a counter-denial from the maker of the operating system, who claimed that this was a false statement, and there were “no viruses” in the open source world.

Anonymous then followed up by tweeting: “Disclaimer: We are not responsible for other people's lack of common sense. We repeatedly posted Anon-OS is not to be trusted.”

We certainly wouldn’t be rushing to download it, if we were a budding hacktivist.

As Graham Cluley from Sophos points out: “If I were writing a cybercrime thriller, I might dream up a plot where the computer cops – desperate to know the identities of the hacktivists – concocted a plot where they made available software that promised to hide hackers' identities.. but in fact secretly passed information back to the cops.”

Not that this is likely to be the case, of course. Still, you have to seriously wonder about the wisdom of the closing on 30,000 folks (possibly more now) who have downloaded the OS thus far.