Suspected Internet Hackers Arrested by FBI


July 20, 2011

Suspected Internet Hackers Arrested by FBI

In what is said to be  the largest sweep of Internet hacker’s in the U.S., the FBI arrested 14 alleged members of hacker group Anonymous, which took responsibility for carrying out an attack on the websites of PayPal, Visa and Mastercard last fall. The fourteen suspects, arrested in 10 separate states, are accused of conspiring to “intentionally damage protected computers,” a charge which is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The PayPal attack which the group called, “Operation Avenge Assange.” was in retaliation to PayPal’s decision to close the donation account for the Wikileaks website after WikiLeaks had released thousands of classified State Department cables  last November. As well as attacking PayPal Inc.,  Anonymous also temporarily shut down MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc. last December, after they froze Wikileak’s account.
Anonymous had targeted Amazon.Com. Inc. too, after it removed Wikileaks content from one of its servers, but that attack was not successful. In recent weeks, police in Britain and the Netherlands have arrested several people suspected of having participated in those attacks. Justice Department officials said British and Dutch police also made related arrests on Tuesday.

Anonymous, a collective of worldwide hackers who have an unclear and ever-changing agenda of grievances, have claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on government and corporate Web sites over the last eight months. The group insists it has no formal membership or structure saying that it is a leaderless campaign of digital disobedience based on ideas of online freedom and collective action. Police believe the group is mostly made up of teenagers and people in their early 20s. Fox News  reported Tuesday that police in London had arrested a 16-year-old boy who they believed was a member of LulzSec a subgroup of Anonymous’ most active and talented hackers. Anonymous first gained attention when it carried out a series of hacks on links to the Church of Scientology and Gene Simmons a member of the rock group Kiss.

Publisher: Salient News