A hacker released the source code for antivirus firm Symantec’s pcAnywhere utility on Tuesday, raising fears that others could find security holes in the product and attempt takeovers of customer computers.
The release followed failed email negotiations over a $50,000 payout to the hacker calling himself YamaTough to destroy the code.
The email thread was published on Monday, but the hacker and the company said their participation had been a ruse. YamaTough said he was always going to publish the code, while Symantec said law enforcement had been directing its side of the talks.
According to Symantec’s spokesperson Cris Paden, “Symantec was prepared for the code to be posted at some point and has developed and distributed a series of patches since January 23rd to protect our users against known vulnerabilities.” Even so, Symantec had requested for their customers to stop the use of pcAnywhere until the right patches had been released in due time.