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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anonymous threatens Facebook again!

Anonymous, the hacker collective hacktivist group, is once again planning to target Facebook in an attack scheduled on Jan. 28 - at least, that's what a video uploaded to Youtube on Monday was claiming in the name of the hacker network.

"An online war has begun between Anonymous, the people and the government of the United States," the video begins. "While SOPA and PIPA may be postponed from Congress, this doesn't guarantee that our Internet rights will be upheld."

Following the U.S. government shutdown of file-sharing site Megaupload on Friday, Anonymous attacked the U.S. Department of Justice's website, among others.

Monday's Youtube video calls on the American people to participate in the hack by downloading Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC), the tool that was successfully used to target the U.S.' Department of Justice. LOIC crashes websites by sending thousands of information packets to their servers.

The video gives instructions for downloading and running the program, as well as a time - 12 a.m. on Jan. 28 - to launch the attack. No time zone, however, is distinguished.

"Would you like to become part of the greatest Internet protests and first official cyber war?" the video asks. "Operation Global Blackout is ongoing and everyone can be a part of it."

Facebook is one of the world's largest websites, operating through thousands of servers located across the world. In the video, Anonymous acknowledges the difficulties of attacking such a large site.

"While it is true that Facebook has at least 60,000 servers, it is still possible to bring it down," says the Anonymous voice. "Anonymous needs the help of the people."

YouTube commenters have raised an important question, "Why would Anonymous want to crash Facebook, after the site came out against SOPA and PIPA?"

The video essentially equates the privately-owned company with the U.S. government, with no explanation for the linkage. CNET postulates that Zuckerberg took too long to voice his opposition, landing his social network a spot on the potential targets list.

The global network of hacktivists had made this threat before, and promised to shut down the site on Nov. 5, 2011, over user privacy concerns. Ultimately, no attack was executed. And although there was a spam attack, it came out on a later date and was immediately neutralized by Facebook. The loosely-connected hacker network called the threat the work of peripheral members.


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