Symantec now admits that hackers accessed its network back in 2006 and stole the source code to numerous products.
Symantec spokesman Cris Paden said on Tuesday that unknown hackers breached its network back in 2006 and obtained the source code to Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition, Norton Internet Security, Norton Utilities, Norton GoBack and pcAnywhere. The news follows the release of Symantec's Norton Utilities source code on Friday by a hacker associated with Anonymous and Lords of Dharmaraja.
Previously Symantec said that some of its code had been lifted from the server of a third party, but after a thorough investigation, the security firm has discovered that its network had indeed been compromised after all. The only real threat at this time resides with customers using pcAnywhere, Symantec's software that facilitates remote access of PCs.
"Symantec is currently in the process of reaching out to our pcAnywhere customers to make them aware of the situation and to provide remediation steps to maintain the protection of their devices and information," the company reports.
The story regarding Symantec's leaked source code began just after the new year when hacker group Lords of Dharmaraja threatened to release the source code to Norton Antivirus. The group's original threat posted on Pastebin is now gone, but a Google cached version claims that the source code was retrieved during a hack of India's military and intelligence servers.
"As of now we start sharing with all our brothers and followers information from the Indian Military Intelligence servers, so far we have discovered within the Indian Spy Programme source codes of a dozen software companies which have signed agreements with Indian TANCS programme and CBI," the group stated.
Later Symatec admitted that it previously offered up the source code of its products in compliance with the Indian government so that officials could make sure the software didn't contain spyware or other malicious programs. Save for the firm's current caution with pcAnywhere as revealed on Tuesday, Symantec wasn't too worried about a possible code leak given the stolen software is six years old.
Yet that very factor may be why Lord of Dharmaraja and Yama Tough have resigned from releasing the Norton Antivirus source code on Tuesday. According to a Twitter post by Tough, they have decided not to go public with the 1.7 GB of source code "until we get full of it."
"1st we'll own evrthn we can by 0din' the sym code & pour mayhem," he said via Twitter.
There's speculation that Tough is referring to "zero daying," meaning that a surprise attack on the software could be in the works instead of an actual code release.