The hacktivist group Anonymous has been very active in the last few days, including taking down the websites for the DOJ, RIAA, MPAA, Universal Music, and Vivendi. Even CBS, ZDNet's parent company, was hit by a Domain Name System (DNS) poisoning attack. Earlier today, a video explaining a plan to attack Facebook at 12:00 AM EST on January 28, 2012 was released.
I wasn't sure about the claims made, but the video and timing were much better than last time. I wrote the story up and promised you I would look for signs that the story is not true. Even while writing it, I checked all the usual sources and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, although I did write: "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.'"
As you can see in the screenshot above, the proof I needed was posted a few hours after I finished my story about the video. Just like a few months ago, the Twitter account AnonOps has once again debunked the story that Anonymous will attack Facebook: "Again we must say that we will not attack #Facebook! Again the mass media lie."
It's great to get confirmation from AnonOps that this story is not true, although a bit ironic given that it was the account that made me think the attack could be real this time, even after all the time I spent debunking it last time. A few hours before, this tweet went out: "#ActAgainstACTA - News about an #Anonymous huge operation soon >> bit.ly/xCzf36." I should have figured that Anonymous wouldn't target Facebook over ACTA, but that's my error, and I apologize for it. If you want to read about what Anonymous' plan is, check out the blog post Things you need to know about ACTA.
Last time, Anonymous made it clear that that it did not support attacking Facebook on November 5, 2011. Both of the aforementioned Twitter accounts sent out multiple tweets denying the claims. The story was that a small number of members thought Facebook deserved to be taken down.
I haven't figured out yet if the same thing is happening here (are a few rogue Anonymous members trying to take down the world's largest social network?) or if this is some other scam trying to take advantage of the Anonymous name (there are some whispers that the whole point was to spread malware). Either way, I'll do my best to keep you posted.
Update: "We expect Anonymous just like we expect any other attack on any other day," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "Due to our size, we face the same threats as seen everywhere else on the Web, but we have developed partnerships, backend systems, and protocols to confront the full range of security challenges we face. Facebook has always been committed to protecting our users' information, and we will continue to innovate and work tirelessly to defend this data."
- Anonymous is not attacking Facebook today
- Anonymous does not support killing Facebook on November 5
- Facebook identifies those behind coordinated spam attack
- Facebook: images of porn, violence due to coordinated spam attack
- Facebook confirms images of porn and violence, is investigating
- Facebook hacked: Are you seeing images of porn and violence?