AnonOps Twitter: Jan. 28 Facebook threat is a fake

Nathan Pensky · January 24, 2012 · Short URL:

A YouTube claiming to be from Web activist group Anonymous has been disavowed by AnonOps Twitter

Word spread this morning that hacktivist group Anonymous had planned  a massive onslaught against Facebook, to be carried out on January 28, 12:00 AM EST, as a YouTube claiming to be from the group circulated the Web.

But fear not, Facebookers. A Twitter account reliably associated with Anonymous has claimed that the YouTube, and the accompanying claim of a Facebook attack, are both fake.

"While it is true that Facebook has at least 60,000 servers, it is still possible to bring it down," the threatening video said. Also cited in the video, in the way of reasoning for the supposed Anonymous attack, was the recent controversial legislation, the Stop Online Piract Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), though why these now-defunct bills would prompt the group to attack Facebook is anyone's guess.

Facebook had come out against SOPA/PIPA, though it did not join with Wikipedia, Reddit, and others in the blackout protest of the legislation.

Perhaps these Anonymous pretenders thought Facebook's endorsement wasn't ringing enough? But did they see Mark Zuckerberg's first Tweet since 2009, an anti-SOPA message that linked to a longer message on his own Facebook page? Apparently, they weren't impressed.

No matter. It's all a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing, as the threats have been disavowed by the AnonOps Twitter account, which has been regularly associated as an informal spokesperson for the group. "Again we must say that we will not attack #Facebook! Again the mass media lie," said AnonOps.

Anonymous recently staged its most widespread hacking attack ever, taking down the public websites of the US Justice Department, the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), Universal Music Group, the US Copyright Office, EMI Music, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), among others.

The attack was in response to the arrest of four execs and operators of popular file-sharing site MegaUpload.

Similar threats to take down Facebook, supposedly from Anonymous, emerged in 2011, claiming that the social networking site would be attacked on November 5. These threats similarly proved fruitless, as the group eventually claimed that core members of the group were not behind them.

And for their part, Facebook doesn't seem too worried. "We expect Anonymous just like we expect any other attack on any other day," said a Facebook rep in a C-Net report Tuesday. "Facebook has always been committed to protecting our users' information, and we will continue to innovate and work tirelessly to defend this data."

So it looks like your blurry Facebook pics of last week's Maragrita Night are safe from Anonymous for now.

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