Anonymous Facebook threat a bluff?

Written by Clive Webster

August 10, 2011 // 4:53 p.m.

Tags: #anonymous #facebook #hack #hacktivist #threat #threaten #youtube

Many sites are reporting that hacktivist group Anonymous has uploaded a recruitment video to YouTube calling for support to take down Facebook on 5 November this year. However, PC World (the US publication, not the high street shop) doubts the validity of the video.

It says ‘the threat has not been posted on Anonymous’ prolific Twitter feed or its blog.’ When it asked Trend Micro’s director of security research and communication, Rik Ferguson, PCW was told that the video ‘was posted almost a month ago and yet has not been widely publicised, or publicised at all, on the usual Anonymous channels; the Twitter profiles that appear to be associated are inactive.

Other sites are taking the claims of the video at face value, that it is from Anonymous and that the group does intend to ‘destroy’ Facebook. Given the anarchic, de-centralised nature of Anonymous it’s possible that the group both is and is not intending to attack Facebook.

Either way, the video is unequivocal: ‘If you are a willing activist, 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…

‘Facebook has been selling information to government agencies, giving clandestine access to information security firms, so that they can spy on people from all around the world. Some of these so-called white hat InfoSec agencies are working for authoritarian governments, such as those of Egypt and Syria.



Quite what will happen is anyone’s guess: the YouTube video could be prank, a splinter faction within Anonymous or it could be that the whole Anonymous group has changed tactics to flummox security experts such as Ferguson.

What do you think is most likely, and does Facebook deserve to be attacked in this way? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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