International hacktivist group Anonymous has threatened to attack Facebook and gaming company Zynga on Nov. 5, known in Britain as Guy Fawkes Day. The holiday commemorates the 1605 Gunpowder Plot, in which the Catholic Guy Fawkes and his accomplices conspired to blow up the Houses of Parliament, assassinate King James I and replace him with a Catholic monarch. Authorities thwarted the plan and put the conspirators to death. To celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, children create effigies of Fawkes and carry them door-to-door, asking people to donate “a penny for the Guy.” The effigies are burned on bonfires and a display of fireworks rounds out the evening. I have many happy memories of stuffing old clothes with newspaper to make my Guy. Consider it our version of Halloween.
Anonymous has adopted the Guy Fawkes motif for its activities. Members of the group appear in public wearing masks of Fawkes popularized in the film V for Vendetta. On Sunday, Nov. 4, Anonymous hacked the websites of NBC, the Australian government, and singer Lady Gaga, replacing content with a famous verse associated with Guy Fawkes Day: “Remember, remember the fifth of November, the Gunpowder treason and plot…”
As of the morning of Nov. 5, Facebook was up and running. A similar attempt by Anonymous to bring down the Facebook site last November was unsuccessful.
(Image: Matt Cunnelly on flickr)
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