Anonymous has launched its own operating system, Anonymous-OS, which fits out wannabe hackers with a suite of tools that they could use to get started on a path of crime.
The operating system is based on the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu 11.10, and uses the Mate desktop, a variant of the Gnome 2 desktop. Anonymous-OS is available only as a live CD or a live USB, and can be downloaded as a torrent or via Sourceforge.
As of this morning, it has been downloaded over 4600 times.
The creator of the operating system claims that the distribution has been put together for educational purposes, and should be used to check the security of web pages. However, the operating system comes with a fairly vast array of tools, including distributed denial-of-service tools, like the Low Orbit Ion Cannon; password crackers, like John the Ripper; and automated SQL injection tools, such as Havij.
The authors haven't explicitly stated what the root password is for the distribution, instead opting to provide an MD5 hash of it, perhaps as a way to weed out so-called script kiddies. A quick Google search of the hash reveals a trivial and predictable four-letter password, however.
Whoever has put together the operating system has seen fit to ensure fellow anonymous members can keep in contact with each other, bundling it with XChat IRC and Pidgin instant messenger, and has supplied users with a few tools to help cover their tracks, such as JonDo and Vidalia.
However, users are unable to browse the web anonymously out of the box, and are required to download the latest version of Tor browser if they wish to do so.
While the creators of the distribution have labelled it as being 100 per cent safe, or as safe as any other Linux distribution, the inability to tell who has put Anonymous-OS together may leave users wondering if backdoors or keyloggers have been surreptitiously included.
Anonymous-OS is not the only distribution that has been developed with a focus on security. Others, such as Pentoo (which is no longer being maintained) and BackTrack, have been built for penetration testers, and include a wider variety of tools.