Anonymous To Destroy Facebook On November 5th (Update: Well, Probably Not)

The fifth of November: the day Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the English Parliament in 1605, and the day Anonymous threatens to destroy Facebook in 2011.


A video press release from a purported member of the hacker group claims there will be an all-out assault that day that will bring down your favorite social network. Anonymous has singled out Facebook for its shady privacy settings and for how difficult it is for users to delete their accounts.

Facebook, the voice-garbled orator says, "gives users the illusion of (privacy) and hides the details away from them "for their own good" while they then make millions off of you." When all is said and done, the group claims people will thank Anon for saving them from the evils of Zuck's empire. [YouTube via Business Insider and Village Voice]

Update: Sources we've spoken to inside Anonymous' IRC have cast some heavy, heavy doubt upon the legitimacy of #OpFacebook. Unlike Anonymous' major offensives, which have the blessing of the collective's prominent operators, the Facebook takedown is more of a splinter maneuver. "#OPFacebook is not endorsed by Anonops at this time," stated one member. The generally-reputable AnonOps Twitter feed confirms as much. Another IRC member put it more clearly:

Anonymous is a mindset not a group. Mindsets do not have leaders. With any given operation there are always some who agree and some who disagree. With opFaceBook specifically there are those that agree and those that disagree. Annoymous allows each person individually to vote on each operation, a yes vote means they participate, a no vote means they do not. Anyone is allowed to create an op and if others vote yes it will get traction and something may be accomplished.

Essentially, this is a turkey without a head. It's possible some members of Anonymous may try to attack Facebook, but without the blessing and organization of Anonymous' chief operators, it's doubtful Facebook will be scratched, much less destroyed. Especially with months of forewarning.

You can keep up with Kelly Hodgkins, the author of this post, on Twitter, Google + or Facebook.


Update 2: A fellow claiming to be the originator of #OpFacebook says the whole thing was a terrible mistake and misunderstanding. In brief, the original plan to punish Facebook for user data storage spun out of his control, fanned by impetuous groupies, misleading media reports, and a total lack of organization. Sounds about right. (Thanks, Adrian)


I think there are two questions here.

The big one to me is "how much money will FB spend prepping for an attack?"

Anon doesn't have to fire a single shot to win if they can panic FB into burning money on an attack that never comes. It will be a somewhat phyric victory, as FB will never confess to how much they spent, and Anon will just get tagged as failing, but they will still have made FB blow cash that they didn't need to spend.

The secondary question is "does Anon actually have a shot at this?"

The level of traffic that FB handles as part of normal business would be sufficient to DDOS any lesser site. And I'd suspect that people are going to be less willing to attack FB than, say, the RIAA.

My guess is that FB has to call their bluff, but that the response will more likely be to make sure that they've got up-to-date code on their backup farms, and someone ready to throw them in the mix if Anon manages to get enough traffic going.

Unless Anon's tripped to some zero-day exploit that they're hoping doesn't get fixed by 11-5, I suspect that most people won't notice a thing...