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Social downer: Anonymous crash Facebook, lock out thousands

Published time: June 01, 2012 14:45
Edited time: June 02, 2012 16:43
Screenshot of Twitter user @YourAnonOps

Screenshot of Twitter user @YourAnonOps

An attack reportedly orchestrated by the infamous hacktivist group Anonymous forced Facebook offline, with many of its 900 million users unable to log onto the social network for hours.

Anonymous took to Twitter, using their @YourAnonNews handle to say “looks like good old Facebook is having packet problems,” and sprinkled it with some no-nonsense hashtags like #FuckFacebook and #FuckYourIPO.

They followed with “RIP Facebook a new sound of tango down bitches”, which resulted in “RIP Facebook” trending on Twitter both in the United States and worldwide.

Facebook admitted they experienced problems in a statement.

“Earlier today, some users briefly experienced issues loading the site. The issues have since been resolved and everyone should now have access to Facebook. We apologize for any inconvenience,” the company’s announcement said.

Facebook did not deny Anonymous could be behind the network problems.

Anonymous usually times its attacks for Fridays, but has previously focused mainly on law enforcement-alphabet agencies like the FBI, CIA and DHS. This is the first time the hacktivist group has targeted the world’s most popular social network.

The attack added insult to Facebook’s IPO injuries, with share prices falling 22 per cent since going public two weeks ago. Mark Zuckerberg’s company, along with the banks that led the float, is also the subject of two shareholder lawsuits.

Many have also noted the irony of the crash, remembering the Oscar-winning movie The Social Network, in which Zuckerberg’s character claims the difference between Facebook and everyone else is “we don't crash – ever.”

Currently in Italy on his honeymoon, the young billionaire may see his fortunes take an even bigger hit as analysts warn shares could fall even further.