Acclaimed Internet security company Symantec has announced that the source code for its popular pcAnywhere program has been stolen by hackers. The company has issued a warning encouraging consumers to discontinue use of all Norton Antivirus, Internet Security and SystemWorks programs including pcAnywhere while they are fixing the bugs. Earlier this month, fabled hacker group Anonymous claimed that the company’s source code for these security programs had been compromised. After investigating the matter, Symantec has acknowledged that this is, in fact, the case.
The issue can quickly turn into an insurance and security nightmare for consumers and the company. While the compromise of Norton security products will leave many PC users without protection from harmful viruses, the threat of a compromised pcAnywhere program are much more troubling. pcAnywhere allows several computers to communicate with one another directly. Vast amounts of information are shared through this connection, which includes sensitive login information for high-security systems and government websites. A hacker with the source code could access this information with little to no trouble and could even use the resources of another person’s computer to commit other acts of aggression.
Cybercrime is quickly becoming a serious issue. There can be no telling how much this recent attack from hackers will cost the insurance industry at this time, but the potential for thousands of computers having been compromised is too much to ignore. Insurers are currently investigating the matter along with Symantec. This event may be enough to spur companies to take the issue of cyber security much more seriously.