Friday, January 27, 2012

Anonymous Threatens Facebook Shutdown Jan. 28 / Anonymous Hacks CBS, Universal Music

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anonymous facebookUpdate: Anonymous claims on Twitter that the video is fake, and they do not plan to take down Facebook.

Anonymous is planning to target Facebook in an attack Jan. 28 — at least that’s what a video uploaded to YouTubeMonday is claiming in the name of the hacker network.

And you thought a day without Wikipedia was bad.

“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 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 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.”

SEE ALSO: Anonymous Hacks CBS, Universal Music

Facebook, of course, 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.

We’ve heard this threat before from the global network of hactivists, who promised to shut down the site Nov. 5, 2011, over user privacy concerns. Ultimately, no attack was executed and the loosely-connected hacker network called the threat the work of peripheral members.

Do you think the threat is serious this time around? Let us know in the comments if you think Facebook is a worthy target.

BONUS: A Brief History of Anonymous

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Anonymous Hacks CBS, Universal Music — Not Colbert Report or Daily Show Twitter Accounts

Hacktivist group Anonymous made the rounds over the weekend, attacking sites from to (once again) Universal Music.

In what looks like hacking-spree retribution following the FBI’s shut down of file-sharing site Megaupload, Anonymous didn’t just take offline on Sunday with a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks — it redirected visitors to different web servers all together. This means that visitors trying to access saw what appeared to be a completely deleted site for about 20 minutes.

Anonymous redirected visitors to servers that showed a directory file and error messages when trying to load pages. is now back up and functioning properly.

The group also took down other sites over the weekend, including — a site the group attacked last week — as well as its parent company, Vivendi. Various Brazilian sites were also involved in the cyber-attacks, including one for popular singer Paula Fernandes. Elysée — the official website of the French government — as well as several Polish government sites were also hit. Although Twitter accounts for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report were also hacked Sunday night, it appears to be an act from Anonymous supporters — not Anonymous itself.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted seven people and two companies which ran the file uploading site The site — which called itself “the leading online storage and file delivery service” has been shut down for making $175 million on about a half a billion dollars in copyright infringement. Anonymous threatened in a video (above) to bring other sites down if Megaupload isn’t reinstated soon.

The video states that Anonymous has gained access to the servers of the United Nations, Facebook,YouTubeTwitter and various banks, and threatened to take them down: “We are prepared to launch a global blackout of these websites” if Megaupload isn’t back online in 72 hours. The video was released last Thursday.

“We have access to banking and credit card information of millions of citizens,” the video said. “But as for the citizens, do not fear — for your accounts will not be compromised. This is simply to raise awareness — a demonstration to those that doubt our abilities. To those that support SOPA and PIPA. To those congressmen that want to vote yes on those bills. We are not f-ing playing. You have been warned.”

According to a Huffington Post report@ColbertReport and @TheDailyShow were also hacked on Sunday night, as identical tweets were sent out to followers with a link to this picture — two men in a disguise, one wearing a Pokemon hat. But the hackers said they were not associated with Anonymous, although they do support their efforts. The tweets also included hash-tags that referenced Anonymous and Stop ACTA!, a protest group of the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement. The tweets also included this message: “Watch your security, bro <3."

Soon after, the accounts reportedly tweeted followers to ignore the previous messages, implying that they had been hacked. Other Viacom accounts -- including @ComedyCentral and @Spike_TV -- were also hacked in the process through Hoot Suite, social media dashboard that helps companies manage and send messages to Facebook and Twitter.

The messages have since been deleted from @TheDailyShow, but @ColbertReport has left up a message denying ties to Anonymous: "We are not anonymous, however we do respect @anonops and @poisanon we are however <3 #stopACTA."

What site do you think will be Anonymous' next big target? Do you think Anonymous will ever be stopped? Let us know thoughts in the comments.

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