The threat to the social media giant is part of the hackers’ Guy Fawkes Day protest, which has targeted a number of other companies, including eBay‘s (NASDAQ:EBAY) PayPal. Anonymous indicated that it would disrupt Facebook’s operation unless gaming firm Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) — which is a major Facebook partner — shelved plans to lay off 1,000 workers, Time noted.
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in the U.K. and recalls an attempt by a Catholic activist — Guy Fawkes — to blow up Parliament on November 5, 1605. The plot was thwarted, and Fawkes was executed. Guy Fawkes masks have become the symbol of Anonymous.
In a video posted on Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube and in a statement on its website, the hackers said they would also release sensitive documents purportedly belonging to Zynga regarding to the company’s “outrageous treatment” of its staff and lawsuits against game developers.
Anonymous also said it would release games stolen from Zynga’s servers unless the layoffs were abandoned.
This isn’t the first time Anonymous has targeted Facebook. It threatened the social network last year as well, but didn’t succeed in disrupting service. As of Friday afternoon, Facebook’s website remained accessible. Facebook and Zynga shares both slipped fractionally in Friday trading.