An account on YouTube that claims to be associated with the hacker collective Anonymous posted a video today with an extremely threatening message, claiming that a concealed explosive device will be detonated inside a government building on November 5th.
The full message of today’s video message reads as follows:
Dear citizens of the world,
We are anonymous. As of today 200 kilograms of composite Nitroglycerin and commercial explosives have effectively been concealed in a government building, situated in the united states of America. on the 5th of November 2012 the device will detonate remotely via the transmission control protocol, leaving behind severe consequences. We would like to advise that the contraption is built inside a tamper proof apparatus sensitive to physical intrusions or attempted disarmament, thus resulting in the desired effect, if the military grade device is found before the 5th of November. there is no intention, risks or circumstances what so ever to cause harm to innocent people, but we can not, say the same for the people who are the real terrorists, oppressors and war creators.
we are anonymous
we are legion
we do not forget
we do not forgive
on the 5th of November, you will expect us.
The video was posted by @FawkesSecurity, which is the same account that claimed credit for a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on HSBC bank last Thursday, which affected the bank’s online services and disrupted access for thousands of customer accounts. The @FawkesSecurity Twitter account had promised that attacks on additional banks - including Barclay’s, RBS and Lloyds TSB - would follow. Earlier tweets from the same Twitter account on October 19th expressed that “WW3 and CW1 is getting closer and closer by the day.”
November 5th is a significant date, as it is the date that Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Parliament building in England as part of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. The incident, as well as the infamous Guy Fawkes mask, has been memorialized in movies such as “V for Vendetta.” Anonymous has adopted the Fawkes mask as one of the collective’s symbols.
Earlier this month, other individuals claiming association to Anonymous leafleted areas of London in advance of another event also scheduled for November 5th, dubbed Operation Vendetta.
Now the various Anonymous groups around the world are supporting each other “for what will be the strongest display of anonymous in the UK so far.” While focused on the UK, it is intended to be a worldwide protest, both on the ground and in cyberspace. “On the 5 November 2012 the Anonymous Collective will engage in the largest orchestrated attack on the Governments of the World. The centerpiece will be the re-enactment of the Film V for Vendetta scene at the Houses of Parliament with ground and online protests across the globe,” a spokesman from ATeamAnon in the UK told Infosecurity.
It is not known if today’s threat has any relation to the planned #OpVendetta event.
Despite criticism of the hacker collective for its often aggressive tactics, bomb threats are not typical modus operandi for Anonymous, leading some to be particularly suspicious of this account. Prominent members of Anonymous were criticizing @FawkesSecurity on Twitter and condemning the threat at the time of this posting.
As with other leaderless anarchistic movements, virtually anyone can claim association to Anonymous and commit acts under its banner, making it difficult at times to determine rogue actors from the will of the broader collective.