June 14, 2021

Anonymous Releases Source Code for pcAnywhere [Updated]

Update: Symantec has contacted us here at LiveHacking.com with the following correction: The e-mail string posted on Pastebin by Anonymous was actually between them and a fake e-mail address set up by law enforcement. For more details see Symantec Working with Unnamed Law Enforcement Agency

(LiveHacking.Com) – The hacking group Anonymous has tweeted that it has released the source code of Symantec’s pcAnywhere on The Pirate Bay. The release of the software seems to have come after a set of emails between Symantec a  law enforcement agency (masquerading as Symantec) and the hacker YamaTough. The hacker tried to exhort money from Symantec when he asked for $50,000 not to release the source code. According to the email exchange the negotaions ended when the hacker gave Symantec the law enforcement agency (masquerading as Symantec) a 10 minute utlimatum: “we give you 10 minutes to decide which way you go after that two of your codes fly to the moon PCAnywhere and Norton Antivirus.” To which Symantec the law enforcement agency (masquerading as Symantec) replied “We can’t make a decision in ten minutes.  We need more time.”

It seems that this then prompted the release of the source code. We spoke with a security expert who has downloaded the archive of the source code and his initial impression is that the release is genuine. According to our expert (who wishes to remain unnamed due to fears of possible reprisals by Symantec) the archive contains the following directries:


The Development directory contains documentation including a document called “Programming Style Guide” which is marked as “Symantec Confidential” and pertains to “pcAnywhere / Decomposer / Packager”. The “pca32” project seems to contain source code with valid Microsoft Visual Studio project files.

According to ComputerWorld there is no official word yet from Symantec as “it happened so recently that we’re still in the process of analyzing and won’t be able to confirm until the morning.”

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  1. Be advised Symantec did NOT offer a bribe to Anonymous, but rather responded to an extortion attempt by Anonymous by contacting law enforcment for follow-up. In January 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. Symantec conducted an internal investigation into this incident and also contacted law enforcement given the attempted extortion and apparent theft of intellectual property. The communications with the person(s) attempting to extort the payment from Symantec were part of the law enforcement investigation. Given that the investigation is still ongoing, we are not going to disclose the law enforcement agencies involved.

    The e-mail string posted on Pastebin by Anonymous was actually between them and a fake e-mail address set up by law enforcement. Anonymous actually reached out to us, first, saying that if we provided them with money, they would not post any more source code. At that point, given that it was a clear cut case of extortion, we contacted law enforcement and turned the investigation over to them. All subsequent communications were actually between Anonymous and law enforcement agents – not Symantec. This was all part of their investigative techniques for these types of incidents.