Anonymous: The Bogeyman of the Hacker World

Last week, a new operating system -- Anonymous-OS -- based on the Linux OS, emerged. A 1.5 GB file was distributed on SourceForge, allegedly created by Anonymous "for educational purposes, to checking (sic) the security of web pages... Please don't use any tool to destroy any Web page." More than 25,000 downloads of the file were recorded before SourceForge took down the file.

It seems that the OS was ridden with denial-of-service tools, Trojans, and other malware that rendered the computers that downloaded and installed the file vulnerable. Soon after the file appeared, Anonymous-related sites started carrying messages disavowing the OS and claiming it wasn't an Anonymous product. "Don't use Anonymous OS, we don't know anything about it and can't vouch for it," tweeted YourAnonNews.

Conspiracy theories abounded after Anonymous disclaimed credit. Some asserted that it was a law enforcement tool meant to sniff out Anonymous-friendly users. Others claimed it was a start-up group that was using the Anonymous tag to further their own efforts.

The reality is Anonymous has become the Bogeyman of the hacker world. If an attack occurs and China is not suspected, then blame Anonymous. Why wouldn't an aspiring hacker hoping to gain access to tens of thousands of computers (in this case 25,000+) not take advantage of the opportunity?