Anonymous plans to kill Facebook.
Despite initial reports of a link, Facebook spam carrying pornographic images wasn’t related to Fawkes, new malware supposedly developed by Anonymous, security experts say.
By Mathew J. Schwartz InformationWeek
November 17, 2011 12:28 PM
The torrent of Facebook spam carrying pornographic and violent images that affected many users of the social network earlier this week wasn’t related to Fawkes, the new malware supposedly developed by Anonymous. In fact, Anonymous seems to have had nothing whatsoever to do with the attack, despite some security researchers initially suspecting otherwise.
“Some are experiencing an outbreak of pornography on Facebook. This is leading some to speculate that Anonymous is responsible for this, calling this outbreak the ‘Fawkes Virus.’ I assure you that Anonymous involvement with this is highly untrue,” according to a statement released on Tuesday to Pastebin by “AnonymousWiki.”
Security researchers had suspected that Anonymous might have been behind the Facebook spam since members of the hacktivist collective had recently threatened the social network. Notably, Razvan Livintz, an analyst at BitDefender, had said Friday that Anonymous has been preparing a hit on Facebook, using malware that it had developed and released in July. His observations were based in part on a video that surfaced on Anonymous Central Friday.
But, the pornographic image spam didn’t fit the Anonymous modus operandi, and furthermore the outbreak didn’t even appear to be new. “Over the past two weeks we’ve seen an increasing number of threats, based on the statistics provided by our social media security app Safego,” said George Petre, head of social media research for BitDefender, via email. “Most of these threats contained porn images or shocking images.”