If you haven’t made it a point to remember the fifth of November before, hacktivists belonging to the group Anonymous are looking to change all of that this weekend.
According to various tweets, blog posts and message across the Web, November 5 will host a series of attacks on various institutions waged by members of the online collective Anonymous. Among the rumored targets this weekend include Fox News, Facebook and a notorious Mexican drug cartel.
Additionally, November 5 is scheduled to be the day that customers of big banks across America have vowed to close down their accounts and transfer their money to smaller institutions in alignment with the growing Occupy movement. Across the Internet and in Occupy encampments across the country, November 5 is being dubbed as Bank Transfer Day, Move Your Money Day and other monikers as part of the Operation Cashback movement.
Internationally, November 5 is recognized as Guy Fawkes Day, named in remembrance of the radical Englishman who attempted to overthrow parliament in 1605. His plight was idolized in the major motion picture V For Vendetta, and the Guy Fawkes mask from the film has since become the calling card for members of Anonymous.
On Saturday, those members are expected to open up battlefronts across the Web and in banks across the country.
Aside from the Operation Cashback initiative, Anonymous has previously vowed that it will take on the website for Fox News on November 5, swearing to shut down their servers under the umbrella of an agenda called Operation Fox Hunt. According to a YouTube video posted on October 22, the assault on Fox will come as a response to the cable news network’s lack of serious coverage aimed at the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Now in its second month, Fox was late to devote any coverage to the movement and, once it did, took a light-hearted and laughable approach at what polls show that many Americans feel is a serious issue.
“Since they will not stop ridiculing the occupiers, we will simply shut them down,” says a digitzed voice in the recent YouTube clip. “Fox News, your time has come . . . Operation Fox Hunt. November 5th. May the hunt begin,” the narrator adds.
In the past Anonymous has been mostly successfully with planned attacks of similar scales, running infiltrations on the computers of SONY, Bank of America, Mastercard and other major corporations and institutions. As RT reported yesterday, last week Anonymous successfully hacked into the computers of nearly 200 patrons of child pornography websites, exposing their IP addresses and computer histories and passing them along to international authorities.
Anonymous has also vowed that unless an affiliated hacker is received from the custody of the Zetas, a violent Mexican drug cartel, they will information relating to persons affiliated with the gang on November 5. Anonymous claims they have illegally obtained around 25,000 emails relating to the Zetas by infiltrating the computer network of the Mexican government and can out dozens of officials and authorities with ties to the Zetas. Should they follow through with their threat, this maneuver will surely open Anonymous up to not just legal ramifications this time, but as a security expert with the company Stratfor warns them, “abduction, injury and death.”
Rumors have also begun to circulate across the Web in recent days that November 5 will be the day that Anonymous will launch an attack on Facebook in an attempt to shut down the popular social networking site for its infringement on the privacy of its patrons. According to one video uploaded to YouTube by a user believed to be affiliated with the group, "Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world.”
Hackers pledging allegiance to Anonymous have openly discussed an attack on Facebook on other online sites, though others have publically denied that an infiltration has been agreed upon or authorized. Matt Peckham, a tech writer for TIME, writes that an attack on Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild seems unlikely given the advance notice, writing, "When you're planning to hack someone, don't tell them in advance. More importantly, don't tell them exactly when you're planning to rock their universe.”
On the contrary, Operation Fox Hunt has been acknowledged by members of Anonymous and is still believed to be carried out on November 5 with warning having already been extended to the organization.
An attack on Facebook could stand to be the assault with the largest impact on the worldwide web before but could still be in scope for Anonymous. Earlier this year hackers in the offshoot Lulzsec successfully impacted the websites for the CIA, the US Senate and the Sun newspaper.
Regardless of what attacks are carried out on Guy Fawkes Day, the scale of the threat that Anonymous poses across the board is impressive. Small scale bank transfers in the weeks since the Occupy Wall Street movement began has led to dozens of arrests across the country, and as the United States gets heated over the ongoing police attack on Occupy demonstrators, this weekend’s festivities, no matter which threats are indeed carried out, are sure to escalate not just the Occupy movement but the awareness of Anonymous.
In a press release today from the ListenLogic Social Listening Intelligence Centex, the social business intelligence company writes that the there is a “high” threat advisory level for large US corporations for November 5. The company notes that threats against corporations have skyrocketed in the recent weeks, and that the majority of Occupy-related videos viewed on YouTube in the last month have included acts of violence.
The SLIC predicts violent action, flash mob and vandalism will be widespread on November 5, despite organizers with the Occupy movement condoning such acts.
"As ListenLogic continues to monitor this situation with a real-time SLIC for its clients, we feel it is necessary to elevate the threat level so that the public and all of corporate America are aware of the alarming social activity we are witnessing,” says ListenLogic co-founder & chairman Vincent Schiavone in today’s press release.
Schiavone adds that between Bank Transfer Day, Operation Fox Hunt and other initiatives, November 5 has the potential to create a “perfect storm . . . that could escalate into further hostility.”