Anonymous to attack Facebook on January 28 (video)

Summary:A new video allegedly from the hacktivist group Anonymous claims the next target is Facebook. Anonymous wants to take down Facebook with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

Update: Anonymous: no Facebook attack on January 28

After U.S. officials shut down MegaUpload last week, the hacktivist group Anonymous began a revenge spree, which started off by taking down the U.S. Department of Justice, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America, and Universal Music. Their next target, according to a video released on YouTube by the user AnonymousVoice777, appears to be Facebook.

What makes me skeptical (again) about this claim is that no reason for attacking Facebook is given other than "to show them indeed that we are not, playing." Nevertheless, clear instructions are given, as well as a date and time: 12:00 AM EST on January 28, 2012. Furthermore, the voice even says that you don't need to worry about getting caught because "hundreds of thousands of us citizens and those of the anonymous idea will all be participating" and "they cannot take down that large of a group."

As you can see above, the video encourages the viewer to download and use Anonymous' Low Orbit Ion Cannon program, which the group uses for its Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Here's the video's description, which includes the transcript that the voice reads:

DOWNLOAD LOW ORBIT ION CANNON http://www.mediafire.com/?jzt2yjk0jjr OR http://sourceforge.net/projects/loic/

OR HIGH ORBIT ION CANNON https://rs868tl5.rapidshare.com/#!download|868tl|436018600|Hoic2.1.zip|2358|R~1DF582C2319D413734915A199D123422|0|0

TO browse anonymously go to https://www.torproject.org/download/download.html.en this will change your IP

Hello. People of the world. We are anonymous. The time has come. An online War has begun between anonymous, the people, and the government of the united states. While SOPA and PIPA may be postponed from congress, this does not guarantee that our internet rights will be upheld. For those unaware, there is still ACTA or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. You. The public. I have a proposal. Would you like to become part of the greatest internet protest and first official cyber war? Anonymous is in the hands of us all. It is time to take action. Operation global blackout is ongoing and everyone can be a part of it. In the description I have provided everything you will need. Our first target... Facebook... While it is true that facebook has at least 60,000 servers... It is still possible to bring it down... Anonymous needs the help of the people... The people who want to take a stand against the government... The people who want to make a difference... This is what we must do... But first... you must ask yourself, are you truly apart of the anonymous consciousness? Do you fully grasp our ideas and understand what we are. If you do... Then one thing is clear... Together... We the people... We anonymous... Can make a change... We've already crashed CBS... Warner Brothers... And FBI sites... Facebook is our next aim... This will be enough to show them indeed that we are not, playing. Now I will give some general instructions on what to do in order to help crash facebook... First... you will need to download the L-O-I-C or, Low Orbit Ion Cannon from the link provided in the description... Once downloaded... Open the program and type in the URL space http://www.facebook.com and hit lock on... It will tell you facebooks ip address. Because there are different servers, there will be more than one ip address that will pop up on different instances, but they will all be similar. Next you will go to the box that says attack options. Change the threads to 1000. Then you will hit the button that says IMMA CHARGIN MAH LAZER... tHIS WILL NOT WORK if everyone does it at random times... This is why... I would like to conduct this operation at exactly 12 A M on January 28th 2012. A five day preparation... That way... We will have a stronger army built up to fight for our rights... Do not fear... There is no way you can get caught... Hundreds of thousands of us citizens and those of the anonymous idea will all be participating... They cannot take down that large of a group... This is your chance... Our chance... The fate of the internet... Rests in your hands... In owr, hands... Government Of The United States... Leaders of the new world order... You have been warned... Operation Global Blackout Part 2, Facebook. Engaged... We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. They should of Expected us...

YOU CAN CHANGE THE THREADS TO 1000 or 10,000 or more!

It's important to note that Anonymous was believed to have scheduled an attack against Facebook before. This turned out to be a false story; I debunked it twice: once when it was announced to be scheduled for November 5, Guy Fawkes Day and once on the actual day of the scheduled event. Two months ago, when images of porn and violence surfaced on Facebook, many thought this was Anonymous. I again explained that this was not true.

I quickly checked the Twitter accounts AnonOps and GroupAnon today for any signs of whether this threat is real. Neither has confirmed nor debunked it: Facebook isn't mentioned since the last time there was talk of an attack. The latter doesn't mention anything at all, but the former did post this ominous tweet three hours ago: "#ActAgainstACTA - News about an #Anonymous huge operation soon >> bit.ly/xCzf36." The link takes you to the AnonOps Communications blog, but at the time of writing, it hasn't been updated since Saturday.

I'll be looking into this video a bit more, and will update you if I learn anything else. Right now, this appears to be a legitimate call to arms, at least when compared to the previous supposed declaration of an attack against Facebook. Still, with Anonymous you just never know: there are always some members who want to do their own thing and don't represent the larger community.

Update: Anonymous: no Facebook attack on January 28

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Security

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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