The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday has arrested 16 alleged members of Anonymous hacking group in a nationwide take down of the infamous hacking group.
Around 14 people were accused in an indictment filed last week in San Jose, California, of conspiring to “intentionally damage protected computers” at PayPal last December in retribution for PayPal suspending WikiLeaks' account to prevent supporters from donating to the whistleblower site, cnet news reported.
The suspects were arrested in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
In the other two indictments a Florida man was arrested on charge of breaching for allegedly accessing the website of Tampa InfraGard, an FBI partner, in June and then boasting of his actions on Twitter. Another man who is a former contractor with AT&T was arrested in New Jersey on charges that he lifted files from that company’s computer systems; which he later distributed to LulzSec, a hacker collective that stemmed from Anonymous.
Anonymous, a group of hackers have claimed the responsibility for a number of attacks on government and corporate websites over the last eight months.
DOJ officials said that British and Dutch police has made related arrests on Tuesday. FoxNews.com reported on Tuesday that the police in London had arrested a 16-year-old boy who they believed was a core member of LulzSec and used the alias Tflow.
I can confirm that we're conducting law enforcement actions relating to a criminal investigation, Fox News quoted Alicia Sensibaugh, a spokeswoman for FBI's San Francisco office.
According to sources, California searches, carried out at 6 a.m. PDT, bear connections to claims that a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks were carried out against several companies and their websites by a national network of hackers.
The FBI executed search warrants at the New York homes of three suspected members of Anonymous - two in Long Island and one in Brooklyn, Fox News reported.
FBI agents were seen removing at least one laptop from the home of Giordani Jordan, one of the individuals targeted at the Baldwin, N.Y.
The searches and arrests come in the middle of a recent spike in activity by Anonymous. Last week, the hacking collective broke into a server operated by government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and disclosed log-in credentials, including 90,000 military email addresses and passwords.
The attack on Booz Allen Hamilton followed the attack on IRC Federal, a contractor that works with the Army, Navy, NASA, the Department of Justice and other government agencies. Anonymous released the snippets of information on text-sharing site Pastebin. It also posted a 107MB torrent file on Pirate Bay.