Guy Fawkes Night cyber attack on Facebook threatened in video [Updated]
Anonymous could be planning a Nov. 5 cyber attack agianst the world's largest social networking site, Facebook.
A single video was published to a YouTube account called FacebookOp, claiming to be from Anonymous that said the group would be hacking into Facebook and taking the site down.
"We wish to get your attention, hoping you heed the warnings as follows: Your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed," reads a written statement posted in the YouTube description of the video. "If you are a willing hacktivist or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy."
Whoever posted the video -- whether actually from members of Anonymous or someone claiming to be affiliated with the group -- said the reasoning behind the planned attack was allegations of Facebook selling its users' personal information to government agencies "so that they can spy on people from all around the world. Some of these so-called whitehat infosec firms are working for authoritarian governments, such as those of Egypt and Syria. "
Facebook officials were unavailable for comment on the video or the allegedly planned attack.
The video was shared on Twitter on July 16, the day the video first hit YouTube, by a user going by the name of Op_Facebook. The tweet to share the video has been the only message sent from that account so far and no other videos have been uploaded to YouTube.
"You cannot hide from the reality in which you, the people of the internet, live in," the statement paired with the video reads. "Facebook is the opposite of the Antisec cause. You are not safe from them nor from any government. One day you will look back on this and realise what we have done here is right, you will thank the rulers of the internet, we are not harming you but saving you.
"The riots are underway. It is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It is a battle for choice and informed consent. It's unfolding because people are being raped, tickled, molested, and confused into doing things where they don't understand the consequences. Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of and hides the details away from them "for their own good" while they then make millions off of you. When a service is 'free,' it really means they're making money off of you and your information."
Anonymous has about a dozen Twitter and YouTube accounts and has a loose structure with no one leader or spokesperson representing the group, which has in the past claimed hacks into the Iranian government, PayPal, Visa and tech companies working for the FBI and other government agencies. The group also used its YouTube and Twitter pages to post video created by those in Tunisia who revolted against their government in January.
It's clear the group's philosophy is one that isn't big on governments or police agencies as they currently exist.
But given the largely undefined barriers as to what Anonymous is or isn't, it's difficult to gauge how much weight is or isn't behind this seemingly ignored threat made against Facebook.
One piece of the puzzle that is, however, easy to decipher is the Nov. 5 date on which the cyber attack could take place. Nov. 5 is Guy Fawkes Night, the night in 1605 in which Guy Fawkes was arrested while guarding explosives beneath London's House of Lords in an attempt to kill numerous politicians and King James I.
Lately, however, Anonymous members have been more active as members of AntiSec, a mash-up of Anonymous and members of LulzSec, a hacking group that has said it hacked more for entertainment than over political philosophy.
[Updated 10:31 a.m.: A spokeswoman for Facebook, Gwen Belomy, said the Palo Alto company is declining to comment.]
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screenshot of a video that claims Anonymous will launch a Nov. 5 cyber attack on Facebook. Credit: FacebookOp via YouTube