Anonymous is planning another attack on Facebook, and this time they want your help.
“While SOPA and PIPA may be postponed from congress, this does not guarantee that our Internet rights will be upheld,” said an Anonymous member in a dramatic YouTube video proposing the take-down.
Last week websites “blacked out” as a form of protest against SOPA and PIPA, bills aimed at reducing copyright infringement at the cost of what some say will be censorship. Soon thereafter the government took down file sharing website Megaupload for copyright infringement, sending Anonymous on a hunt to take down various record labels’ websites, as well as the Department of Justice. Now, for at least one Anonymous member, taking down Facebook is the next way U.S. citizens can get the government’s attention.
“There is no way you can get caught,” said the member. “Hundreds of thousands of us citizens and those of the Anonymous idea will all be participating … This is your chance. Our chance. The fate of the Internet rests in your hands.”
In a YouTube video posted this morning, the group calls on the U.S. public to download the same tool used to take down the DOJ website last week. The tool is called LOIC, or a Low Orbit Ion Cannon. This tool shuts websites down by launching information packets at the servers thousands of times. When a website’s servers are processing so many access requests, it overloads and shuts down. But Facebook isn’t just a computer in a Harvard dorm room anymore. It has a massive number of servers, aimed at holding the site up for its 800 million members.
“While it is true that Facebook has at least 60,000 servers, it is still possible to bring it down,” said the Anonymous member. “Anonymous needs the help of the people.”
The tool must be used at the same time in order to be affective on this many servers, according to the member, who has set the time of 12am (we’re assuming UTC) on January 28 for the attack. Around that time, watch out for links on the Twitter handles of Anonymous members. During last week’s attacks on the DOJ, some members were tricking people into “helping the cause” by providing links to LOIC, which would then use an innocent bystander’s computer to take down the targeted site.
In 2011, the group vowed to “kill” the social network on November 5, the same date Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested watching explosives to be used in an assassination attempt against King James I. Soon after announcing its intentions, other members of Anonymous explained the attack was created by exterior Anonymous members and was not supported by most of the group.
Whether this one is legitimate or not, the group seems to have a sense of humor. To send LOIC off into a server crashing rampage, a user must click a button reading, ” IMMA CHARGIN MAH LASER.” And, for Anonymous, these lasers are set to stun.
hat tip CNET