Interpol swoop nets 25 suspected 'Anonymous' hackers

Feb 28, 2012
A masked hacker, part of the Anonymous group, is pictured in Lyon, France, in January 2012. Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the 'Anonymous' hackers group in a swoop on over a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said Tuesday.

Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the 'Anonymous' hackers group in a swoop covering more than a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said Tuesday.

"Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain," said Interpol, based in the French city of Lyon.

The statement cited attacks on the websites of the Colombian Ministry of Defence and the presidency, as well as on Chile's Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others.

The operation was carried out by police from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, the statement said, with 250 items of computer equipment and mobile phones seized in raids on 40 premises in 15 cities.

Police also seized credit cards and cash from the suspects, aged 17 to 40.

"This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity," said Bernd Rossbach, Interpol's acting director of police services.

However, it was not clear what evidence there was to prove those arrested were part of Anonymous, an extremely loose-knit international movement of online activists, or "hacktivists."

Spanish police said earlier they had arrested four suspected hackers accused of sabotaging websites and publishing confidential data on the Internet.

They were accused of hacking the websites of political parties and companies and adding fangs to the faces of leaders in photographs online, and publishing data identifying top officials' security guards, Spanish police said.

The operation, carried out after trawling through computer logs in order to trace IP addresses, also netted 10 suspects in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia, Spanish police said.

They said one of the suspects went by the nicknames Thunder and Pacotron and was suspected of running the computer network used by Anonymous in Spain and Latin America, via servers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

He was arrested in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

Two of the suspects were in detention while one was bailed and the fourth was a minor who was left in the care of his parents.

In Santiago, deputy prefect Jaime Jara said police confiscated computer equipment belonging to five Chileans and a Colombian, aged between 17 and 23.

Jara said the suspects appeared to have hacked web pages in Chile, Colombia and Spain.

The six suspects did not know each other and were released after voluntarily giving statements, police said, though they will likely be ordered to appear in court to face possible charges relating to online crimes.

Anonymous has in recent weeks targeted the websites of a series of police organisations, with subgroup "Antisec" on Friday vandalising the website of a major US prison contractor.

Anonymous took credit Thursday for an online raid on the Los Angeles Police Canine Association and previously attacked websites of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Anonymous has notably defended WikiLeaks when it was facing a funding cutoff and recently collaborated with the anti-secrecy site for the release of a swathe of emails from Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor.

In December 2010, Anonymous attacked the websites of Mastercard, PayPal, Visa and others for blocking donations to WikiLeaks after it began releasing thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.

Explore further: Movement builds to ensure privacy for Internet users

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Spain arrests 4 suspected Anonymous hackers

Feb 28, 2012

Police say they have arrested four suspected hackers allied to the loose-knit Anonymous movement in connection with attacks on Spanish political party websites.

Spain nabs 3 suspected of global cyber attacks

Jun 10, 2011

(AP) -- Spanish police arrested three suspected computer hackers who allegedly belonged to a loose-knit international activist group that has attacked corporate and government websites around the world, authorities said ...

UK arrests 2 suspected computer hackers

Sep 02, 2011

(AP) -- British police on Thursday arrested two men as part of a trans-Atlantic investigation into attacks carried out by the hacking groups Anonymous and Lulz Security.

Recommended for you

Say Ello to the new privacy debate on social media

Sep 29, 2014

Ello is new social networking space on the web that is receiving a lot of attention of late – so much that it's caused a few problems with the website out of action from time to time. ...

Post-Snowden, iPhone 6 encryption fans safety debate

Sep 28, 2014

Encryption technology in the iPhone 6 has taken root in a scales-of-justice debate between privacy supporters and public safety officials. Apple is using a more advanced encryption technology.

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TheGhostofOtto1923
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 28, 2012
Aw too bad. Funtimes over.

But hey! Thanks for making the internet a safer place to do business. Your attacks only make its defenses stronger.

See ya when you get out.
Sin_Amos
1 / 5 (2) Feb 28, 2012
No, this is just the beginning of the war. The more they crack down, the more guerillas they create. This game won't be won by paid employees of government agencies, because they won't have the expertise to stop the most intellectually gifted hax0rs.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 28, 2012
No, this is just the beginning of the war. The more they crack down, the more guerillas they create. This game won't be won by paid employees of government agencies, because they won't have the expertise to stop the most intellectually gifted hax0rs.
Thats not the point. They welcome the gifted. Defenses cannot be depended upon unless and until they are attacked by a genuine foe. Flaws and weaknesses are identified and improvements are made. This is an ongoing Process and essential to the development of a robust system. It is the essence of evolution.

Only Those who understand this have any hope of prevailing. And this is not, sorry to say, the idealistic adolescents whose ideals are fabricated for them in the first place. They are cannonfodder. Dupes. Students. Taliban.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (2) Feb 28, 2012
Information wants to be free.

trekgeek1
not rated yet Feb 28, 2012
We'll see if the guys they got were even any big time members. They may associate with Anonymous, they may even be part of Anonymous, but we don't know how many people are above them. Watch, when the police get home they'll find their emails hacked and bank accounts empty!
Argiod
1 / 5 (4) Feb 28, 2012
No, this is just the beginning of the war. The more they crack down, the more guerillas they create. This game won't be won by paid employees of government agencies, because they won't have the expertise to stop the most intellectually gifted hax0rs.


Yup, happens every time they make martyrs out of people who are just trying to live free in our increasingly restrictive world... restrictive for poor folks, that is. The wealthy do as they please, and simply buy their way out of trouble.

The authorities would do better if they would offer the best hackers a job at a pay scale they'd be hard to refuse. We waste our best talent by prosecuting them instead of recruiting them. If I were a hacker and offered a chance to make a good income with my skills instead of going to jail, I'd jump on the chance.
Royale
not rated yet Feb 29, 2012
I haven't read anything about a legitimate hack by them. DDoS, password stealing, etc. None of that is hacking to me.. I've never heard anything about password cracking, them attacking anything other than public websites.. I guess I'm just not impressed; seems silly to go to jail for such a weak showing.
blazingspark
not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
This is more of a publicity stunt than anything else. They barely scratched the surface.