“February 28, 2012
Interpol said Tuesday that 25 suspected members of the loose-knit Anonymous hacker movement have been arrested in a sweep across Europe and South America.
The international police agency said in a statement that the arrests in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain were carried out by national law enforcement officers working under the support of Interpol’s Latin American Working Group of Experts on Information Technology Crime.
The suspects, aged between 17 and 40, are suspected of planning coordinated cyberattacks against institutions including Colombia’s defense ministry and presidential websites, Chile’s Endesa electricity company and national library, as well as other targets.”
While these arrests do not appear directly related to the Stratfor hack last December, their proximity to the recent Wikileaks release is quite advantageous for all entities that oppose Anonymous. Was it law enforcement’s technical prowess that resulted in these Anons getting caught?
“The GREAT majority of those implicated were people inhabiting the servers of anonworld.info, something that disconcerts us,” said the activist “Skao,” who identified herself as a law student.
In the communique released on its blog, Anonymous Iberoamerica said the 25 were snared not through “inteligence work or informatics strategy” but rather through “the use of spies and informants within the movement.”
As participation within Anonymous is accessible to just about anyone, anticipating their next move and even compromising those involved may have been quite easy for an informant.
How does Anonymous respond?
Anonymous launched a sustained distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that knocked Interpol’s public-facing website offline for several hours Tuesday.
Members of the hacktivist group Anonymous apparently took credit for the attacks via the AnonOps Twitter channel, which has served as a reliable source of Anonymous information. “Tango Down >> Free International Anons!” read one tweet, while another said, “Tango Down II 404 Interpol, #Anonymous is not a criminal organization.”
While taking down one website for a few hours is nothing compared to locking up 25 people for many years, I’m happy to see Anonymous maintaining its presence and an unstoppable attitude.
Will there be more arrests directly in response to the Stratfor hack? Again, I find myself cheering for the Internet hivemind, eager to see what happens next.
Creative Commons image: Source