The clocks are turning on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5, the day the hacktivist group Anonymous designated for attacks on Facebook, Fox News, and the banks, across the globe. But will any of these attacks actually be carried out?
According to a Daily Dot source claiming familiarity with the plans of Anonymous’s mainstream members, the banks, a target of populist ire thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement, will likely be hit.
Facebook, blamed for sharing private information with advertisers, and Fox News, disliked by some members of Anonymous for its political agenda, are less likely to see action.
Why November 5? The British holiday originally marked the foiling of Guy Fawkes’s plan to blow up Parliament. But Anonymous has turned it into a celebration of the English proto-anarchist, adopting a Guy Fawkes mask as its symbol.
Now Facebook users and media outlets alike are scrambling to determine if the social network will be taken offline Saturday.
Twitter account AnonOps, short for Anonymous Operations, which members often use to announce such actions, tweeted earlier today that a distributed denial-of-service or DDoS attack, a typical Anonymous tactic, was not happening.
But the operators of the AnonOps account certainly don’t know or can’t speak to everything happening under the Anonymous moniker, which anyone can adopt. An Anonymous-made video uploaded onto YouTube last week stated the operation will “still be commencing.”
An Anonymous informant, who claimed to be a long-time member, told the Daily Dot via private chat that he doesn’t think much will come of Operation Facebook, or Operation Fox Hunt, the planned raid against Fox News.
He didn’t write off the possibility completely though. As he pointed out, the networks of infected computers used to carry off a distributed denial-of-service attack: “Botnets are so easy to accumulate these days, every other kid has one.”
Distributed denial-of-service attacks overwhelm a target’s servers with traffic that is often difficult to distinguish from attempts by ordinary users to access a website.
Two new videos by Anonymous members went up this week regarding Operation Fox Hunt, one of them uploaded today.
The first move of Operation Fox Hunt, according to a video uploaded Wednesday, named Fox News reporters and pundits as targets, such as Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. The video called for their Facebook and Twitter page to be flooded with messages, and for a denial-of-service attack on the Fox News site.
The Anonymous operation on banks, called Operation Cash Back, is moving ahead with full force. More of a protest than a hacking attempt, the operation asks people to move their money out of large, global banks and into local banks or credit unions.
The operation is supported by a Facebook group declaring November 5 “Bank Transfer Day.” The Facebook page for Bank Transfer Day currently has 44,000 likes, up from 25,000 10 days ago.
Of the three actions talked about, Operation Cash Back may already have had a lasting effect.
According to the Credit Union National Association, more than 650,000 people have opened credit union accounts since Bank Transfer Day was announced in late September.
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