The FBI has apparently arrested several suspected members of the hacker collective Anonymous, which has targeted a variety of businesses and the U.S. government.
The FBI has apparently searched several homes across the
country as part of a broader investigation into the hacker group Anonymous and
arrested several suspected members.
According to The
Wall Street Journal, the FBI was seeking out individuals "in their late
teens and early 20s." Fox
News reported that 30 to 40 search warrants had been issued in the case,
with arrests of 16 people in "states including Florida, New Jersey and
California." A spokesperson for the FBI's San Francisco office confirmed that
"law enforcement actions" were under way.
Government officials told
CBS News that the FBI had made "more than a dozen arrests" as part of its
investigation into the Anonymous network.
For some months, Anonymous has proven a cyber-thorn for a
number of companies and government organizations,
including the Central Intelligence Agency and biotechnology firm Monsanto, in
the latter case siphoning hundreds of pages of documents that allegedly
revealed unethical business practices.
The "hacktivist" collective also breached consulting firm
Booz Allen Hamilton and dumped log-in information for some 90,000 military and
government personnel, including US CENTCOM, SOCOM, the Marine Corps, Air Force
facilities, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and
In response to those attacks, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,
requested the establishment of a new subcommittee focused on examining data
breaches against federal agencies and contractors, with an eye toward informing
and reconciling various drafts of cyber-security legislation.
"I truly believe the only way to ensure the protection of
sensitive and valuable information from tampering or dissemination by
unauthorized persons is a Select Committee," he wrote in a July 14 letter to
Senate leadership. "With so many agencies and the White House moving forward
with cyber-security proposals, we must provide congressional leadership on this
pressing issue of national security."
Also in July, the Department of Defense officially unveiled
its strategy for operating in cyberspace, which includes a variety of
defensive measures designed to protect DOD systems and infrastructure from
attackers. Marine Gen. James Cartwright,
vice president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has criticized that plan for
focusing too much on defense at the expense of offensive elements.
"If it's OK to attack me and I'm not going to do anything
other than improve my defenses every time you attack me, it's very difficult to
come up with a deterrent strategy," he said in a press briefing before Deputy
Defense Secretary William Lynn's July 14 speech at the National Defense
University in Washington D.C.
Anonymous isn't the only threat to the Pentagon, whose
networks are apparently probed millions of times every day by cyber-attackers.
In March, an attack against military computers led to 24,000 files being stolen
from a defense contractor. Specifically, the intruders targeted information
related to missile-tracking systems,
unmanned aerial vehicles and the Joint Strike Fighter.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.