Security

Anonymous Claims Attack on Facebook

The notorious hacker collective Anonymous is claiming responsibility for sporadic service failures around the world at Facebook on Thursday evening.

“Some users briefly experienced issues loading the site," Facebook says in an e-mail statement about the outage. “The issues have since been resolved and everyone should now have access to Facebook. We apologize for any inconvenience."

However, problems appeared to be lingering Friday morning. When I tried to access my Facebook account around 8 a.m. Eastern time, I could not access the website. The problem lasted about five minutes. When the site did come back online, I had to reenter my username and password to access it.

A website that tracks outages, downforeveryoneorjustme.com, reported Facebook down early Friday morning but service returned between 9 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. Eastern time. According to just-ping.com, packets were being lost Friday morning at Facebook locations in Stockholm, Shanghai, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Lisbon; checkpoints were unavailable in San Francisco and Moscow; and an unknown host message was generated in Beijing.

During the service disruptions Thursday, a tweet was posted to the YourAnonNews Twitter account suggesting the group may be behind the Facebook disruptions. "Oh yeah… RIP Facebook a new sound of tango down bitches," the tweet said.

While acknowledging the service disruptions, Facebook has been mum on any role Anonymous may have had in the failures.

In March, Facebook experienced a number of outages in Europe. Those outages were attributed to DDoS attacks -- a common tactic used by hacktivists -- by Belgium's Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT). Facebook did not acknowledge any connection between the outages and Anonymous at the time.

Anonymous has threatened to bring down Facebook in the past. In August 2011, the erratic group threatened to "kill Facebook" on November 5. As that date approached, however, it shelved its plans for that attack.

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

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