The group know as Anonymous claims it has hacked 70 or more law enforcement websites in the Southern and Central United States, in retaliation for the arrests of U.S. sympathizers in the U.S. and Britain.
The group Anonymous also claimed to have stolen 10 gigabytes of dates, including emails, credit card details, and other information from local local enforcement bodies from throughout the U.S.
Anonymous is a group initiating active civil disobedience through the Internet. The group originated in 2003, but has remained hidden. Actions are undertaken by unidentified individuals for different causes, attributing the Anonymous label to the source of the actions.
Anonymous' claims have not been verified immediately by law enforcement agencies, but a review of sites Anonymous claims to have hacked by the Associated Press -- including sheriff's offices in states including Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Mississippi -- revealed that they had been wiped clean of content.
But by noon on Sunday, at least two sheriffs' offices had confirmed the cyber attack, according to the Washington Post.
In Arkansas, St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May said his department and several others were targeted in retaliation for the arrest of hackers who had targeted Apple Computer Inc., and other companies.
"It's an international group who are hacking into law enforcement websites across the nation is my understanding," May told The Associated Press.
May told the AP the FBI was investigating the hacking incidents.
In Louisiana, Cameron Parish Sheriff's Deputy James Cox confirmed his site was hacked, but he said he didn't think it contained any sensitive information.
"That's just a local-information type website," Cox said, in the Washington Post. "Just a little bit about our sheriff's office, number of deputies...Just general information."