November 5, 2012
Anonymous Plot Targets PayPal And Symantec On Guy Fawkes Day
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
(Update: Nov. 5, 2012 — 1:15) Anonymous has been posting some of their exploits via their Twitter account in recent hours, including hacking into the databases of both PayPal and Symantec. It also appears as if the hacking group has taken over the home page at Sharp copier´s Australian site as well as an Argentinian Government bank. Anonymous has also taken to their Twitter account to claim that, once again, their plot to take down Facebook is just a rumor.
Though the hackers claimed to have brought down PayPal, the head of public relations for the payment company denied this, Tweeting: "We're investigating this but to date we have been unable to find any evidence that validates this claim."
Symantec has also said they're investigating any claims of an attack and have said they´re working hard to protect their customers.
The @AnonymousPress Twitter account has also issued details about recreating a scene from “V for Vendetta” in front of the Parliament building and the White House this evening.
While the hackers are proudly claiming responsibility for these attacks, they´re now distancing themselves from any notion that they´ll be hacking Facebook.
As the day continues, more and more Web sites are coming down at the hand of Anonymous. The hackers claimed to have taken down as many as 5 sites in less than an hour.
(Original Nov. 5, 2012 - 10:00AM) Facebook and Zynga are often discussed as one, particularly when the discussion involves online gaming and poor performing stock. Zynga, the maker of popular Facebook games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars and the most recent hit FarmVille 2, recently announced a poor third quarter, but not before laying off many of their employees.
Just one day before their earnings call – and right in the middle of Apple´s iPad mini announcement – Zynga laid off 5% of their full-time workforce, in Austin, Boston, and Chicago.
While these employees look for more work, they can rest easy knowing the world´s rogue band of Internet hacktivists have chosen to fight in their stead. For the second year in a row, it´s being said that hacking collective Anonymous will be taking down Facebook, home to many Zynga games today, Guy Fawkes Day.
Anonymous has been targeting Zynga since their layoffs and releasing internal documents from the company, but today has announced they plan to bring Facebook down. As a reward for the spectators, as well as an assumed punishment for Zynga, Anonymous has said they´ll be making many Zynga games playable for free. The group first made their announcement on YouTube, but the video has since been removed. Their Zynga manifesto can still be read on their Web site, however.
In their statement, the spokesperson for the group claims Zynga plans to lay off thousands more as well as pursue legal action against anyone who speaks to the public about their plan to do so. The band of hacktivists claims this will be the “end of the US game market as we know it,” saying these gaming jobs will be replaced to “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 behavior 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.”
Rumors of an Anonymous vs Facebook battle emerged last year as well, as another YouTube video circulated earlier in the year which claimed the group would take down the social networking giant.
When the rumor was still new, the group claimed they wanted to attack Facebook as it had become its own nation, and this nation was wrongfully surveilling its citizens.
In the months leading up to November 5, 2011, Anonymous backed down and claimed the attack was a hoax all along.
One Anonymous hacker even claimed the only way to bring down Facebook was to set fire to the data centers.
That these threats always fall on November 5th is no accident. November 5th is Guy Fawkes Day, a British holiday which celebrates the day Guy Fawkes, a catholic conspirator, was arrested for plotting to blow up the English Parliament.
This date – and the accompanying masks which members of Anonymous have taken as a mascot of sorts – are better known from the graphic novel and film “V for Vendetta.”
At the time of this writing Facebook remained operational with no reports of outages.