FBI Arrests 16 Suspected Hackers Over Anonymous And LulzSec Attacks
The FBI arrested on Tuesday more than a dozen suspected members of the hacker activist (hacktivist) group Anonymous/LulzSec. The arrests were mainly conducted in the states of Florida, New Jersey and California among several others. If you’re planning on picking hacking government systems as your field of expertise, you better think twice.
The FBI search the homes of several individuals including Giordani Jordan’s, a suspected Anonymous clan member based in Baldwin, N.Y, where reportedly more than 10 FBI agents walked in with a warrant to confiscate and search the computer and electronic devices owned by him. The same procedure has reportedly been followed in Brooklyn, NY and California, where searches have been reported to have taken place at around 6 AM (Pacific Time).
These arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into recent attacks to US bank websites, such as Visa and MasterCard, and more arrests are likely to be conducted. Alicia Sensibaugh, a spokesperson for the FBI’s San Francisco wing has confirmed the reports in a statement:
I can confirm that we’re conducting law enforcement actions relating to a criminal investigation,
Anonymous is a semi-centralized hacking and activism group that advocates for openness of information and fairness on the Internet. While it has often organized peaceful protests, the group is most known for its illegal and harmful activities, which mostly involve making various threats to groups they deem harmful and hacking websites belonging to several well-known websites belonging to institutions and governments. Anonymous is most known for backing Wikileaks, a repository for leaked documents, for making confidential information belonging to certain governments and private entities public, along with Julian Assange, the site’s owner who’s currently in serious legal troubles for making so much sensitive info available to the public.
While some deem the group’s actions legitimate by arguing that their final goal is to contribute to a fairer and less corrupt society, the vast majority considers the group’s activity harmful, given the damages it has caused to individual users who relied on the online services that were attacked, like what happened with Sony earlier this year. Authorities across the world have taken steps to locate and arrest members of this group, like the FBI has just done now. Nonetheless, judging from the group’s previous actions, the bureau should expect retaliation fairly soon, likely aimed at causing a large amount of damage.