Symantec may have tried to bribe hackers, but definitely betrayed its own customers

Symantec might have tried to bribe hackers, or been extorted by them, but still failed its customers

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YamaTough, the LoD who actually held the Symantec source code, posted a string of emails that appear to be an attempt by Symantec to negotiate the return of its code, including the offer of $50,000 paid to YamaTough and the LoD.

A Symantec spokesman released a statement saying the hackers had tried to extort the money from Symantec and that even discussing the payoff was part of an investigation involving a law-enforcement agency Symantec won't name.

YourAnonNews announced the revelation with a tweet reading "Symantec tried to bribe hackers not to release their source code. Don't they know you can't bribe an idea?"

That led to a host of retweets, posts and comment from sympathizers laughing it up over the image of Symantec offering payoffs to hackers.

It also led to a list of tough questions from commenters who said the full text of the email exchange made it look more like YamaTough and the LoD were extorting money from Symantec rather than being offered a bribe.

Tell me again why holding source code for ransom is a noble idea that can't be besmirched?

"You can't bribe an idea," AnonymousSabu tweeted, which is true.

You can bribe hackers who have the idea. Extorting money from corporations afraid of being hacked or DDOSed has been a lucrative business for quite a lot of hackers for years.

Whether that was the case with Symantec isn't clear, like a lot of things aren't clear.

Anonymous – at least those speaking publicly to represent some faction of the whole group – are too high-minded and idealistic to consider selling their ideals for a quick bribe.

They paint themselves and Anonymous as freedom fighters opposing dictators, censors, manipulative, controlling corporations and anyone else putting a foot on the neck of the little guy.

They have quite a record to back up that image, too: attacks on the governments of Libya, Egypt, Syria, attacks in defense of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, attacks on police department and FBI web sites to interrupt investigations of Anonymous itself. Even a long taped conversation between U.S. and U.K. hacker-hunters that was posted last week.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters/Yves Herman

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