Will Anonymous attack Facebook on November 5th? Here's what you should do about it

Filed Under: Data loss, Facebook, Featured

Facebook in flamesIf you believe the internet, Anonymous hackers are planning to "take down" Facebook on Monday, November 5th.

The Daily Mail, Wired, CNET and many others are reporting that Anonymous hacktivists are upset with games firm Zynga.

Zynga is famous for games beloved by millions of Facebook users, including Farmville, Words with Friends, and Castleville.

However, it has been beset by disappointing financial results, after paying over the odds for OMGPop, developer of iOS flash-in-the-pan Draw Something, and Zynga recently announced it was laying off staff.

It didn't take a PR genius to notice that Zynga craftily announced the lay-offs during Apple's high profile launch of the iPad Mini, presumably in an attempt to bury the bad news.

According to a statement published on an Anonymous blog, Zynga is planning to lay off 1000 staff.

Zynga customers and Facebook users , We are anonymous . During the last few days anonymous has been targeting Zynga for the outrageous treatment of their employees and their actions against many developers .

We have come to believe that this actions of Zynga will result in massive layoff of a thousand people and legal actions against everyone that speaks to the public about this plan.

It will also come to end of the US game market as we know it as all this jobs will be replaced in other more convenient financial countries.

With a billion dollars cash sitting in a bank we do believe that such actions are an insult to the population and the behaviour of corporations like Zynga must change.

Anonymous could not allow this to happen so it's starting to release confidential documents we have leaked on this plan

As we speak we are planning to release also all the games we've taken from their servers for free.

That being said we will stop the idea of the distribution of such games if Zynga will cease immediately the plan.

In an operation dubbed #OP MaZynga, Anonymous reportedly plan to "take down Facebook and release Zynga's games for free download on 5 November".

Media report

It probably hasn't escaped your notice that November 5th is bonfire night in the UK, the day us Brits celebrate Guy Fawkes's attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in the failed Gunpowder plot of 1605. And - of course - it was the sinister Guy Fawkes mask in the movie "V for Vendetta" that Anonymous adopted as its symbol.

But there may be another reason why Facebook, November 5th and Anonymous might ring a bell in your memory..

Oh yes, there were threats that Anonymous would bring down Facebook on November 5th last year..

Do you remember what happened then? Of course, you don't. Because nothing happened. Nothing at all.

Facebook just carried on working, ticketyboo.

The truth is that it's very easy for someone to post a threat on the net threatening to bring down XYZ website on a certain day. And, in some cases, when words like "Anonymous" and "Facebook" are used, the media will feel it's necessary to report it.

But that doesn't mean we should panic.

My prediction, as last year, is that it is extremely unlikely that Facebook will be hacked or brought down on Monday 5 November. It's only common sense really - if you were *really* going to attack a website, would you announce the fact in advance?

Anonymous masksFacebook has lots of smart security people working for it, and I'm sure that they will be just as security-conscious on November 5th as any other day.

There's no point in the rest of us getting hot and bothered about a threat which may come to nothing - and indeed, was made last year with no outcome.

My advice is for people not to lose any more sleep over Facebook tonight, and in the coming days, than they normally lose over Facebook. Yes, there are many people who probably should be a bit wiser about how they use the site, and how they share their personal information on it, but that hasn't changed because of an Anonymous threat.

If anything *does* happen to Facebook (or indeed any other website) we'll be sure to offer advice on whether you as an individual need to do anything, or whether all that is required is action by the website's owner to secure it.

But right now - there's no advice that can be offered to regular internet users beyond the usual advice we give people about Facebook security and privacy on the other 364 days of the year.

Stay informed about the latest security and privacy issues related to Facebook. Join the Naked Security page on Facebook, where over 190,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

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22 Responses to Will Anonymous attack Facebook on November 5th? Here's what you should do about it

  1. null · 1070 days ago

    They may DDOS Facebook which is probably more likely if anything due to what they have done in the past but we shall see what may happen

    • Silvio · 1067 days ago

      Doubt they even have enough collective bandwidth to take down Facebook.

  2. Just hope they don't do this.,,

  3. gmd · 1070 days ago

    I am surprised they are not taking on Zynga for the amount of spam messages their games generate & the encouragement this gives to set up false fb accounts to get the game "rewards". About 20% of fb accounts are false because of the game spam culture zynga created, fb will do nothing about these false gaming accounts because the games generate it so much money. If anonymous put its mind to it, it would be possible to overload the fb application interface with DoS attacks based on spoofed app connections and wreck the zynga game economy by releasing cheats to get gold in the zynga games. Bring down Facebook? Empty threat that makes anonymous seem like a bunch of blowhards.

    • Georgie · 1067 days ago

      I doubt they could take down Facebook. You have to also remember that anyone can release a statement on behalf of Anonymous or claim to be part of Anonymous. Though this is probably a legit release from the "core" of the group.

      Let's say their Zynga attack is successful? How does that help the laid off employees anyway? What's to prevent Zynga from citing the attack as a reason they can't keep business up enough to keep those employees on the payroll?

  4. Tom · 1070 days ago

    I take exception to the sentence "Facebook just carried on working, ticketyboo." Facebook is rarely ticketyboo...

  5. Todd · 1070 days ago

    Booooo. Just leave them alone. Many Zynga customers have left already. Zynga cant hold on much longer so they'll have to release their apps anyway.

  6. Jeremy · 1070 days ago

    Why would people care so much if they even did take it down for lets say 3 hours? Facebook would have at least 3 backups of core data.

    • John · 1067 days ago

      Not sure why people would get worried about loosing Facebook for a period of time. I would hope that people can find other things to do while Facebook is down, it would not be the end of the world.

    • lillysnanna · 1066 days ago

      maybe because it is the eve of one of the most important presidential elections in a generation. You guys are really blind.

      • John · 1066 days ago

        What does the election have to do with anything? You can't vote via Facebook. What did people do before Facebook?

  7. The media hype will only create more spam by affiliate "marketers" offering their bogus free zynga credits for completing surveys...

  8. Killuminati · 1069 days ago

    Lets go anonymous!!!! take down facebook, save all the zombies!!

  9. Freida Gray · 1069 days ago

    The closest that Anonymous can get to taking down Facebook is to do a DDoS.Since Zynga also has games on other social network sites this is likely not going to have much effect on Zynga.The main people who will be effect will be the Facebook users,some of whom don't bother with any games including those by Zynga.

  10. Phil · 1069 days ago

    Err -
    Strictly speaking, don't we celebrate Guy's failure, rather than his attempt?

  11. guest · 1069 days ago

    Is Facebook too big to fail?

  12. oleg · 1068 days ago

    Just hope they do this.,,

  13. Andrew Carnegie · 1067 days ago

    Go Hackers Anonymous! Facebook = Brainwashing

  14. Dogh · 1067 days ago

    TRUE . . just experienced that. 0600 Pacific. Had URL link entrys redirected. One of which came up was in Chinese. New browser file requests opened in Facebook. Didn't get to screen capture.

  15. Dogh · 1067 days ago

    No one is beyond suspicion here. Guy Fawkes Day, hunhh ?

  16. Monster11 · 1065 days ago

    I would ;love for someone to attack FB. I has an account for 6 months and kepy all my security settings to the max. Well somehow my information ended up on 2 freinds Linkden accounts. In the months I was on FB when I did a google search for my name there was ever increasing amounts of my information being posted/leaked. If i ever were to get anouther account it would be with an alias. But it has been 7 months since I deleted my account and I don't miss it at all. There are a few close HS friends and Fraternity Bothers that I miss, but before I deleted my account I let all of my friends know and only 3 gave me there private e mails. So really how good a friends were they. I believe alot of people just want to get as much info out of you to catch up and then go back to thier non discript lives. I learned alot about human interaction from my time on FB. I hope it flames out soon.

  17. ANONYM · 584 days ago

    crazy !!! -_-

    ps; i dont have facebook :)

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at https://grahamcluley.com, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley