Two of the most powerful entities on the Internet are set to do battle tomorrow. Infamous hacktivist group Anonymous has pledged to spend today–Guy Fawkes Day–releasing documents and files that it believes will hurt Facebook and Zynga, maker of social video games like Words With Friends and Mafia Wars.
Who knew that Anonymous was so into Farmville?
For those keeping score, November 5 is today. Though Anonymous hasn’t announced plans to launch any virtual attacks on Facebook, and it’s very unlikely that a site as massive and powerful as the ‘book would experience any downtime as a result of such attacks, there’s a small chance that you won’t be able to get on Facebook later today. To be safe, you might want to do some extra creeping on your ex’s photos right now, while you still can.
The rationale for Anonymous’ plan to is pretty much as ridiculous as everything else the collection of hackers does. Anonymous is apparently upset that Zynga recently laid off over 100 of its employees and it’s believed that many more will soon lose their jobs.
Why Anonymous believes that a failing company like Zynga should be forced to retain employees it can’t afford to pay is still a mystery, but Anonymous works in mysterious ways. Zynga’s handling of the layoffs certainly leaves a lot to be desired (the company tried to bury the news during the buzz around the iPhone 5 release), but, as usual, Anonymous seems more interested in retribution than actually offering a viable solution to the issue.
The following message was posted on AnonNews, a site that is generally considered to be a legitimate voice for the decentralized organization:
Zynga customers and Facebook users, we are Anonymous. During the last few days, Anonymous has been targeting Zynga for the outrageous treatment of its employees and its actions against many developers,
We have come to believe that the actions of Zynga will result in massive layoffs of 1,000 people and legal actions against everyone who speaks to the public about this plan.
It will also come to end of the U.S. game market as we know it, as all this jobs will be replaced in other more convenient financial countries.
With $1 billion in cash sitting in a bank, we do believe that such actions are an insult to the population, and the behavior of corporations like Zynga must change.
Anonymous could not allow this to happen, so it’s starting to release confidential documents we have leaked on this plan.
As we speak, we are planning to release also all the games we’ve taken from their servers for free.
That being said, we will stop the idea of the distribution of such games if Zynga will cease immediately the plan.
It should come as no surprise that Anonymous would be upset at game developers being laid off. Though surprisingly little is known about how Anonymous operates, it’s a safe assumption that many of the key individuals within the organization have a background in computer science.
The timing of this attack should also come as no surprise to followers of Anonymous. The group uses the Guy Fawkes mask made famous by the film V for Vendetta as its public face. In 1605, Fawkes planned to attack the English Parliament. Guy Fawkes Day, November 5, is a holiday that commemorates his arrest.