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FBI arrests 14 alleged Anonymous members

Anonymous members claimed responsibility for attacks on multiple online targets, including the Internal Affairs website here.

NBR Staff
Wed, 20 Jul 2011

The FBI has arrested 14 alleged Anonymous members and two other individuals on cyber-related charges.

Anonymous members claimed responsibility for attacks on multiple online targets, including the Internal Affairs website here.

The FBI released a statement today which said that 14 people had been arrested in relation to their alleged involvement in cyber attacks on PayPal's website, with responsibility claimed by the hacker collective Anonymous.  Two other people were arrested on cyber-related charges. 

"Also today, FBI agents executed more than 35 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations"

The statement said that the United Kingdom Metropolitan Police Service arrested one person and the Dutch National Police Agency arrested four people today for alleged related cyber crime attacks.

The group Anonymous is known for launching distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) against organisations' websites to make a point. These overwhelm a website with traffic, often forcing it to crash.

In particular, Anonymous is known for its attacks against PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, for refusing to process payments to WikiLeaks, and here in New Zealand for threatening to take down the Department of Internal Affairs website in protest over a proposed internet filter, and the parliament website in protest over the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act.

The fourteen individuals were arrested on charges relating to coordinated DDoS attacks against PayPal's servers in retribution for the company's termination of WikiLeak's donation account, the statement said. The indictment containing the charges said Anonymous used an open source computer program the group makes free to download.

"According to the indictment, Anonymous referred to the DDoS attacks on PayPal as “Operation Avenge Assange"."

The indictment said those arrested conspired to bring down the PayPal servers from December 6 2010 to December 10 2010.

The indictment also revealed the names of those arrested, including their aliases, including "Anthropobic", "Toxic" and "Reaper".  One name has been witheld by the court.  Four of those arrested are under 23.

The individuals are charged with "various counts" of conspiracy and intentional damage to a protected computer, the statement said.

The charge of intentional damage to a protected computer carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the statement said, and each count of conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Of the two other individuals arrested, 21 year old Scott Arciszewski was arrested on charges of intentional damage, in a complaint which alleges he accessed the Tampa Bay InfraGard website and uploaded files, then tweeted about the intrusion, and directed visitors to website with links to instructions on how to exploit the Tampa website, the release said. 

"InfraGard is a public-private partnership for critical infrastructure protection sponsored by the FBI with chapters in all 50 states."

Lance Moore, 21, was arrested in a New Jersey compaint which alleges he stole confidential business information stored on AT&T's servers and posted in on a public file sharing site, the statement said.  The complaint alleges Mr Moore downloaded thousands of documents, applications and other files, posting them on the same say on a file-hosting site that promises user anonymity.  These documents were made publicly available on the Internet by LulzSec, who claimed on June 25 that they had obtained confidential AT&T documents, the statement said.

LulzSec, which has been called a splinter group of Anonymous, yesterday hacked News Corp.'s The Sun website and re-directing readers to a mock site with a story claiming owner Rupert Murdoch's body had been found.

London police arrested a 19 year old in June in connection with LulzSec attacks, leading to the arrests of more alleged members.

The FBI statement said indictments and complaints contained allegations, and defendants were presumed innocent until proven guilty.


"The 14 individuals were arrested in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio on charges contained in an indictment unsealed today in the Northern District of California in San Jose. In addition, two individuals were arrested on similar charges in two separate complaints filed in the Middle District of Florida and the District of New Jersey."

NBR Staff
Wed, 20 Jul 2011
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FBI arrests 14 alleged Anonymous members