Fawkes Security

Fawkes Security

Updated Oct 23, 2012 at 04:56PM EDT by Brad.

Added Oct 23, 2012 at 01:28PM EDT by amanda b..

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Fawkes Security is a group of self-proclaimed ethical hackers established in December 2011 who align themselves with the Anonymous movement. In October 2012, the group took responsibility for a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on banking company HSBS before posing a bomb threat set to detonate on November 5th, 2012.

Online History

Fawkes Security launched a Twitter account[1], YouTube channel[2] and private Facebook group[3] in December 2011. According to the group’s first video communique, its objective is to target companies and people they view as oppressing average citizens across the globe.[4]

HSBC Attack

On October 18th, 2012, HSBC Bank revealed that the company came under a large scale DDoS attack,[5] claiming that it only took their online services offline and did not affect any sensitive customer data. The attack was initially thought to be caused by a group named Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters[9], who also took credit for DDoSing other American bank websites including Capital One Bank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo; however, a Pastebin document[6] claiming responsibility for the attack on behalf of Fawkes Security was uploaded later that same day, citing several of their real-time tweets as proof. The group also told British newspaper The Register[7] that they planned on targeting more banks in the future, as the group feels they are at fault for the problems with the world’s economy. The next day, @FawkesSecurity further claimed in a tweet (shown below) that they had collected the details from 20,000 credit card accounts during the DDoS[8], but have not provided any proof.

Bomb Threat

On October 22nd at approximately 9:45pm (ET), during the United States presidential debate, @FawkesSecurity tweeted a link to its latest video message (shown below) claiming that a military grade bomb consisting of 200 kilgrams of composite Nitroglycerin and commercial explosives had been concealed in a government building somewhere in the United States. They also added the information in the form of a Pastebin document[10], warning readers that the bomb is in a tamper-proof box and cannot be disarmed without exploding if found before the detonation date of November 5th. The message was subsequently picked up by other Anonymous-affiliated channels on Twitter, many of which included the hashtag #OpV[15] to cross-promote Operation Vendetta[21], an Anonymous protest set to take place in front of the British House of Parliament on November 5th, 2012, in commemoration of Guy Fawkes Night.[16]

Soon after the video began to circulate, other Anonymous-aligned Twitter accounts including @YourAnonNews[11], @TheAnonNation[12] and @Asher_Wolf[14], and the Anon Central Tumblr[20] began claiming the bomb was a hoax[13] and that @FawkesSecurity was not speaking for the whole community. Despite this, news of the threat was shared on Breitbart[17], Softpedia[18] and TechNewsDaily.[19]

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