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SEANux – a version of Linux from the Syrian Electronic Army

On 12 Oct, the notorious Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) posted an interesting tweet.

Soon.. #SEANux: A Linux distribution by the Syrian Electronic Army. #SEA

If you haven’t been following the antics of the SEA then they’re the group of hackers who have made the headlines many times in the last year or so for some fairly basic phishing attacks against media organisations and others who have earned their wrath.

Lots of Linux distributions are offered free of cost on the Internet by a number of companies, non-commercial organizations and by many individuals as well, and now, the notorious Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has announced their own Linux distribution known as SEANux.

A Linux distribution is a coordinated collection of software consisting of a customized version of the kernel together with hundreds of open source (i.e., free) utilities, installers, programming languages and application programs. Some of the most popular distributions are Fedora (formerly Red Hat), SuSE, Debian, Ubuntu, Kali Linux, Tails OS and Mint Linux.

SEA (Syrian Electronic Army)
The hackers, who claim to be supporters of the Assad regime in Syria, made a name for themselves by managing to snaffle ownership of the social media accounts of various media outlets including The Guardian, ITV, The Telegraph, theWashington Post, Viber, Skype, PayPal, Thomson Reuters, and most recently Forbes, amongst many others.

Which raises the obvious question. If the SEA can be taken seriously with their tweet (and that is a fair question, as it’s quite possible that they are pulling people’s legs), then would you *ever* trust an operating system released by them?

After all, they’ve proven themselves to be untrustworthy and downright criminal with their past antics – so it wouldn’t be a momentous surprise if any software that they did release came complete with a few backdoors, or – failing that – some privacy concerning “bugs”.

For now, consider me skeptical of SEANux. After all, back in early 2012 the so-called AnonymousOS was released, a purported new operating system from the Anonymous collective – only to reportedly be found ridden with trojan horses.

And while we’re on the subject of who should we trust, let’s not forget this. Back in January visitors to the Syrian Electronic Army’s own website saw some unusual messages, after Turkish hackers used an SEA-like trick to deface it with their own messages.

We are expecting “SEANux” to be a mixture of Tails and Kali Linux, with lots of pre-installed hacking and Privacy tools. But I would doubt about the integrity of this new operating system SEANux – Linux distribution from the SEA, until we get a clean chit from the Infosec community after its release.
It wouldn’t be a shock or a surprise if SEANux comes with a few backdoors or some privacy concerning malwares hidden in it. As in 2012, Anonymous groups of hackers released an operating system called ANonymous-OS, which was later found to be as a backdoored Operating System.
So, we recommend you to install this Operating System only on a virtual machine, so that your important credentials and data remains on a safer side.
SEANux slogan says “Power Up.. Your Performance.” Now the question rises that what kind of performance they actually want to point out. Is that Power up your system performance? or Power up your hacking skills? or Power up your Social Engineering tactics? as most of their targets included social media sites. But, at this moment we can only assume, until they release more details on it.
If I talk generally, in our community, i.e. Infosec community, we majorly have three types of Operating System distributions, as follows:
  • Linux OS for Penetration testing and Hacking – like Backtrack or Kali Linux which comes wrapped with a collection of penetration testing and network monitoring tools used for testing of software privacy and security.
  • Forensic OS – Operating System which comes with pre-installed digital forensic tools for testing and security purpose.
  • An Anonymous OS – Operating Systems like Tails which keeps it users tracks clear. Tails provides users’ anonymity and privacy, and was reportedly used by the Global surveillance Whistleblower Edward Snowden in discussions with journalists because it includes a range of tools for protecting your data by means of strong encryption.
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