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Bonfire Night sets internet AFLAME: Anons claim PayPal, Symantec

Bigger fireworks as hacktivists raise their sights

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Anonymous claims to have leaked 28,000 passwords from PayPal as part of a a global day of protest to mark 5 November, Guy Fawkes night.

Hacktivists uploaded thousands of email addresses, names, and passwords - supposedly snaffled from the payment processing firms systems, TheNextWeb reports. A PayPal representative said it has yet to find any evidence of a security breach, but is nonetheless investigating the claim.

‪#OpNov5‬ also featured purported hacks against a server at ImageShack and a Symantec portal, thehackernews.com reports. The Symantec hack allegedly resulted in the leak of email addresses and other personal data from hundreds of security researchers. Hackers claimed to have exploited a zero-day bug in the ZPanel portal software used by Symantec to pull off the hack.

A Symantec spokeswoman said that the security firm was investigating: "Our first priority is to make sure that any customer information remains protected. We are investigating these claims and have no further information to provide at this time."

The ImageShack hack, which used a different zero-day exploit, allowed hackers to extract system files and other information, they claimed.

Other claimed defacements and attacks around the world are being logged by the AnonymousPress Twitter account.

The Register reported earlier today that several NBC websites including its mobile site were defaced with the message "Remember, remember the fifth of November" (extracts from a nursery rhyme about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder plot to blow up the UK Parliament in 1605).

However, other elements of Anonymous have distanced themselves from the NBC "prank" attack as well as from supposed plans to take down Facebook and free Zynga games later today, which always seemed unlikely. As Sophos notes, self-identifying elements of Anonymous made threats to attack Facebook last year on 5 November without anything ultimately occurring.

The overall picture is somewhat confusing and, aside from the PayPal hack and perhaps the Symantec breach, arguably insignificant. Both PayPal (after it denied payment services to WikiLeaks) and Symantec (massive security firm, which, according to Anons, sells "ineffective bloatware") are, of course, favourite enemies of Anonymous.

Alongside its mischief in cyberspace, the rag-tag hacktivist collective is hoping to remake scenes from V for Vendetta in a real world protest outside the White House in Washington and the UK Parliament later today. It is unclear at the time of writing whether or not this scheme is gathering momentum. ®

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