“The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” So, naturally, when Facebook went down, Twitter lit up, boosting the hashtag #Facebookdown to 40,000 tweets in approximately twelve hours.
A rotating series of outages over a number of hours late Wednesday night to Thursday morning (North American time) affected at least 2/3 of the countries on Facebook, according to an estimate by International Pirate Party activist (and Cryptosphere contributor) Raymond Johansen. Some users were unable to load Facebook at all, while others got to a Facebook error page instead.
We have confirmed reports of outages in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australasia, but none to date in Africa or Asia proper. Our own access to Facebook was interrupted at approximately 12:30am Thursday, but only for about ten minutes.
According to Jordanian Twitter user Mahmoud Abuttayeb, a heretofore-unknown group called #fucksociety is claiming responsibility. While it may be a simple Mr. Robot joke, hacker crews have been known to pluck handles out of the zeitgeist.
Johansen says, “Fuck Society is a new one. I know them as the same as the Sony [hackers] by way of fingerprints. As [with] the SONY hack, it will never be a one time dump, but a patient series of points made. I can tell you it is connected to the UK and US being arm salesmen to the Saudi coalition doing war crimes in Yemen.” The Sony hack, he says, was the work of hacktivists using sources inside the company. “They were moral hackers from the outside with real Social Engineering skills and patience.”
This is in contrast to much of the conventional wisdom on the Sony hack, which has concluded the seemingly endless series of embarrassing email leaks was the work of disgruntled insiders or ex-employees, and to the FBI, which blamed North Korea early and often, backing up sources at the White House.
Twelve hours after the outages began, they appear to have stopped. Was it a hack, a DDoS attack, an episode of technical difficulties, or a coincidence? Was it truly because of war crimes in Yemen, or just the “series of tubes” getting disconnected? One thing we do know: Fuck Society is not only a heartfelt cry, it’s also an important theme in revered hacker tv show Mr. Robot, where the central crew is named “Fsociety.”