Canonical has recalled disk images for its latest Ubuntu 23.10 release after malicious contributors slipped hate speech into the translations.
The company announced the issue in a forum post:
A community contributor submitted offensive Ukrainian translations to a public, third party online service that we use to provide language support for the Ubuntu Desktop installer. Around three hours after the release of Ubuntu 23.10 this fact was brought to our attention and we immediately removed the affected images.
After completing initial triage, we believe that the incident only impacts translations presented to a user during installation through the Live CD environment (not an upgrade). During installation the translations are resident in memory only and are not propagated to the disk. If you have upgraded to Ubuntu Desktop 23.10 from a previous release, then you are not affected by this issue.
The impacted images were Ubuntu Desktop 23.10 and Ubuntu Budgie 23.10.
The company condemned the incident and emphasized such behavior does noting but undermine the collaborative open source process:
Please keep in mind that translations are data files that support internationalisation of applications. These files are updated with the support of third-party online systems with contributions from individuals all around the world that then get integrated into Ubuntu. It’s unfortunate when that path of collaboration is undermined and used as a mechanism of social aggression. Canonical and Ubuntu do not condone hate speech or offensive language of any kind, as per our code of conduct