Spanish authorities claim to have captured three members of the "Anonymous" hacker group, which took part in denial-of-service attacks against government Websites. They are also suspected of having some involvement in the attacks against Sony.
police have detained three men they believe to be members of the hackers
collective "Anonymous," according to news reports.
believe the trio took part in a number of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service)
attacks against Sony PlayStation Network and government Websites in Algeria,
Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Iran, Libya and New Zealand, Spain's national police
said in a statement June 10. The three men also allegedly attacked Spanish
government, law enforcement, banking and media sites.
unclear from the police statement whether they are suspected of having taken
part in the attack on Sony's
in April that compromised over 101 million user
accounts or in the DDoS
that preceded the massive data breach. Anonymous
, but acknowledged that individual members could have
been involved on their own.
arrested 3 #Anonymous leaders in Barcelona, Alicante & Almeria. They
attacked governments of Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Colombia," Spanish
posted on Twitter.
law enforcement launched an investigation in October after the Spanish Ministry
of Culture's Website was hit by a DDoS attack in protest of a Spanish law on
illegal downloads. The Technological Investigation Brigade, part of the National
Police, analyzed more than 2 million lines of chat logs as well as Web pages to
track the suspects.
also posted a screen capture of an online chat room the suspects frequented.
the Almeria raid, police confiscated a server owned by one of the suspects. Luis
Corrons, technical director at PandaLabs
the research arm of Panda Security, speculated the information on the server
could lead law enforcement to other Anonymous members. Police uncovered
software used to make malware and sophisticated encryption tools as well as the
Low Orbit Ion Cannon software Anonymous uses to carry out its DDoS attacks.
police's claim of "dismantling" Anonymous in Spain may be premature since it is
actually just a loosely knit group of individuals who band together to
participate in various online activities. Anonymous is a "highly anarchic"
organization with no strict hierarchy, Corrons wrote in a PandaLabs blog post.
Anonymous members make decisions collectively and figure out their plans
through forums and general voting. Not everyone participates, or even supports,
all "operations," so it's difficult to tell who is involved and at what level.
am very much afraid that the fact that the 'main leaders of the Anonymous
group' in Spain are now under arrest does not mean the group will cease its
activities," Corrons wrote.
it's possible the suspects took part in some of the attacks, there is no
evidence they have any kind of leadership role, Corrons said.
three men were Spanish and in their 30s, Reuters reported. One worked in the
merchant navy. They are accused of coordinating computer hacking attacks from a
server set up in a house in Gijon, a northern port city in Spain. The statement
did not specify when the men had been taken into custody.
are expected to be charged with forming an illegal association to attack public
and corporate Websites, a charge that faces a potential sentence of up to three
years in prison, The New York Times
had threatened NATO with potential attacks after a recent NATO report condemned
the group. "Do not make the mistake of challenging Anonymous...If you cut down
one Anon, 10 more will join us purely out of anger at your trampling of
dissent," the group warned.
are very likely to see some kind of retaliation actions from Anonymous over the
next few hours, as they are used to getting away with their actions," Corrons
shortly after the police made their announcement, it appeared that AnonNews,
the site commonly used by Anonymous to issue press releases, was unavailable.
AnonNews was "currently experiencing heavy DDoS attacks combined with a
spike in legitimate traffic," read a message on the site.