'Anonymous' Inside the Military? Insider Tells All

Editor’s Note – Are Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden heroes, traitors, whistle blowers…? That is up to you, but reading this article may change your point of view. The other reason we bring this to you is also to show what our military and government are also doing, as reported by an “insider”, but again, you be the judge.

Do you believe this account? Anyway you look at it, questions just continue to flow and its most conceivable that ‘Anonymous’ types likely do work in all industries, government, and the military.

Anonymous’ Secret Presence In The U.S. Army

“There are people who I only know as screen names but I have put my career in their hands.” One member tells all.

By Justine Sharrock – BuzzFeed

An active-duty Army captain and member of Anonymous describes how the organization operates, his own involvement in the Arab Spring, how the crackdown on Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden has affected soldiers, and how more leaks are on the way. He has agreed to speak with BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity.

A Guy Fawkes mask on the dashboard is just one way this Army captain tips off other soldiers that he’s a fellow member of Anonymous.
A Guy Fawkes mask on the dashboard is just one way this Army captain tips off other soldiers that he’s a fellow member of Anonymous.

Are there a lot of members of Anonymous in the Army?

There are more than you would think, more heavily in the techie world [of the military] — especially at Fort Huachuca, where all the intel people are. A lot of them wanted to get the job [there] because they want to learn secret stuff and have a better personal understanding of how the world actually works.

How do you know who is in Anonymous?

Initially we have the handshaking phase. The lingo is still relatively unknown. In conversation, you drop in jokes. If you are with someone on a mission, you’re like, “Man, there are over 9,000 reasons that this is a bad idea.” That initially establishes friendship. Once you feel comfortable with the person and they aren’t just posing as part of the culture, then you talk about what they’ve done and how much a part of it they are. It gets to the point where you are discussing individual operations.

What are the most popular operations amongst soldiers?

Anonymous is so distributed and leaderless that everyone has operations they love and hate. Operation Cartel, especially at Fort Bliss. Operation Dark Net was universally loved. And Operation Payback was pretty well received.

What about you?

I was involved in the Arab Spring opening up internet communications. I was a facilitator for a lot of people who have more skills than me in the cyber world. I knew people who I met through 4chan, 9Chan, and 7Chan and then a lot of AnonOps IRCs and who they needed to talk to — the organizations that would help them, and people in government would give them resources and access — and was able to convince them to talk to people in Anonymous. I got people in the right [internet relay chat] rooms at the right time.

Would the military consider you a white or black hat?

The military sees me as black hat.

Is that a fair assessment?

All hats are gray. Every white hacker I know has a night job that is very much a black-hat job.

What were the results of what you did for the Arab Spring?

From what I heard they were able to establish ways to assist the activists to have a method where they could get information out of Egypt and have certain Twitter accounts tweet that information on their behalf. But I don’t know for sure. As soon as I was like, “Hey, this is this person,” and vice versa, they did tweet confirmation to make sure that certain Twitter accounts were controlled by certain people, and then I headed out of the room so there would be no “taint” of having a fed there.

Why do Anonymous members outside the military trust you?

My credibility is incredibly suspect in the group. I admit I work for the feds, and I provide information on myself so that they are comfortable. There are people who I only know as screen names but I have put my career in their hands.

What specific actions have other soldiers taken?

There are several [soldiers] I know that probably did things, but I don’t know know that they did. I can legally say, probably under a [lie] detector, I have no proof that they did it. We keep our activities totally separate because at any point in time I can be put in the chair that I can’t lie in. You have to keep the /b/ [4chan’s “Random” board] brotherhood strong.

Does the military know about the Anonymous presence?

Pre-Manning, there were several academic papers put out trying to analyze it and school the leadership. Because the Army is a very top-down organization, they assume that [Anonymous] is too. Leadership wasn’t concerned with it until Manning happened. Then they read everything under the [lens] of what Manning did and it just scared them — scared them blind. They know we are in there and they assume that we are all going to do a Manning or a Snowden.

How have they addressed it?

Every six months you are mandated to get a Threat Awareness and Reporting Procedures Brief. It used to be very much like how to … spot the Iraqi contractor who is pacing off your base. Now it is, “Look at the person at your left and right. Are they espousing social beliefs that don’t line up with Army values? What websites do they go to at work?” With the caveat that it is OK to have political beliefs that are different. You get a heavy-handed feeling.

I have had more than a few officers come up to me and as we are trying to talk about [Anonymous] they are worried, like, “Are you CID [working undercover for the Central Investigative Division]?” Because you always worry about that.

Are the retaliations against Manning and Snowden discouraging Anonymous activity and the desire to leak information?

A lot [of Anonymous members] have been in long enough and are jaded. They are watching as the government comes down harder and harder. There is a growing sense of disdain and hatred because we are complicit in it. There are some secrets that need to be secrets but the stuff [the military] keeps secret just to protect the bottom line — you just feel like you are selling your soul every day. That is a lot of the motivation. Especially for people of the generation that believe that information should be free.

Are we going to see more leaks?

Yes. A lot [of Anonymous members] are mid- to high-rank NCOs. They are well-respected, have connections, and overly large security clearances. A lot of people who are part of the [Anonymous] culture are just dying at this point for something to come across their table that isn’t already out there. It is so easy to leak information that if you want to, you can do it.

Anonymous hits Israel with its own “missiles”

Editor’s Note – Israel has many enemies – most are ill-informed, some are complicit, many are allied in the goal of destruction, but now, even ‘Anonymous’ is getting in on the Israel bashing. Israeli computers were hit all over the country – but we are sure its just another hurdle that will not deter their goal to drain the swamp that is Gaza and flush out its Hamas terrorists.

Anonymous attacks over 650 Israeli sites, wipes databases, leaks email addresses and passwords

By “Thenextweb

When the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) this week began taking military action in the Gaza strip against Hamas (as the IDF announced on Twitter), Anonymous declared its own war as part of #OpIsrael.

Among the casualties are thousands of email addresses and passwords, hundreds of Israeli Web sites, government-owned as well as privately owned pages, as well as databases belonging to Bank Jerusalem and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

While the hacktivist group doesn’t appear to be anywhere near satisfied yet, the YourAnonNews account, which has over 686,000 followers, did just send out this message:

If that’s not a declaration of success, I don’t know what is. There have so far been hundreds of takedowns and defacements of sites by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks; one Pastebin trying to list them all includes 659 Web sites. Not all of them are still down, but some are, and others are still defaced.

Another AnonPaste includes 2,004 email addresses, the majority of which appear to have corresponding passwords, allegedly stolen from an MySQL database belonging to dirotmodiin.co.il, a site for finding real estate in Israel. Many of them are hosted on Israeli domains, but there are also the usual Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo accounts.

Yet as already mentioned, we’re talking about more than just DDoS attacks that are overloading Web sites, such as tel-aviv.gov.il, the municipal site for the second most populous city in Israel (after Jerusalem). There are also plenty of defacements, and, as of a few minutes ago, databases have also been wiped.

While the Israeli government almost certainly has backups of the aformentioned databases, these attacks as well as the defacements show Anonymous isn’t just doing its usual spree of overloading target sites. OpIsrael appears to have gotten multiple hackers involved who are interested in doing actual damage, or at least something that is slightly more permanent than just a 404.

Update at 8:20PM EST: The Twitter account is now claiming that over 9,000 sites have been taken down or defaced, but don’t be fooled: this is a meme reference.

Update at 9:00AM on November 17 – Anonymous is claiming to have taken down the Web sites for thePresident of the state of Israel and the IDF’s blog. At the time of writing, the former is still down but the latter is working just fine.

Update at 4:00PM on November 17: Anonymous is claiming to have taken down a few more sites; here are the ones that were down or defaced at the time of this update:

Nothing major, but this further shows Anonymous is clearly still at it.

press release attempts to explain Anonymous’ motives behind the attacks:

Greetings World

For far too long, Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people in the so called “Occupied Territories” by the Israel Defense Force. Like so many around the globe, we have felt helpless in the face of such implacable evil. And today’s insane attack and threatened invasion of Gaza was more of the same.

But when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand. As the former dictator of Egypt Mubarack learned the hard way – we are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch. To the IDF and government of Israel we issue you this warning only once. Do NOT shut down the Internet into the “Occupied Territories”, and cease and desist from your terror upon the innocent people of Palestine or you will know the full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous. And like all the other evil governments that have faced our rage, you will NOT survive it unscathed.

To the people of Gaza and the “Occupied Territories”, know that Anonymous stands with you in this fight. We will do everything in our power to hinder the evil forces of the IDF arrayed against you. We will use all our resources to make certain you stay connected to the Internet and remain able to transmit your experiences to the world. As a start, we have put together the Anonymous Gaza Care Package – http://bit.ly/XH87C5 – which contains instructions in Arabic and English that can aid you in the event the Israel government makes good on it’s threat to attempt to sever your Internet connection. It also contains useful information on evading IDF surveillance, and some basic first aid and other useful information. We will continue to expand and improve this document in the coming days, and we will transmit it to you by every means at our disposal. We encourage you to download this package, and to share it with your fellow Palestinians to the best of your ability.

We will be with you. No matter how dark it may seem, no matter how alone and abandoned you may feel – know that tens of thousands of us in Anonymous are with you and working tirelessly around the clock to bring you every aid and assistance that we can.

We Are Anonymous
We Are Everywhere
We Are Legion
We Do Not Forgive
We Do Not Forget

To the oppressors of the innocent Palestinian people, it is too late to EXPECT US

FBI and Anonymous – Details, harm done from FBI offices?

Editor’s Note – A deeper look into how ‘Anonymous’ was wrapped up by the FBI. But what about these tactics? Was harm inflicted upon eventual victims while the FBI was condoning attacks to pile up the evidence?

How Anonymous Picks Targets, Launches Attacks, and Takes Powerful Organizations Down

By Quinn Norton – Wired Danger Room

No one but Hector Xavier Monsegur can know why or when he became Sabu, joining the strange and chaotic Internet collective known as Anonymous. But we know the moment he gave Sabu up. On June 7, 2011, federal agents came to his apartment on New York’s Lower East Side and threatened the 28-year-old with an array of charges that could add up to 124 years in prison. So Hector Monsegur, who as Sabu had become a mentor and icon to fellow members of Anonymous, surrendered his online identity to a new, equally faceless and secretive master: the FBI.

For the next eight months, Sabu continued to rage across the Internet as a core member of AntiSec, a blackhat hacking group within Anonymous. He helped to deface government and corporate websites and even helped bring down the private intelligence firm Stratfor—all, apparently, with the FBI’s blessing as it quietly gathered logs on Monsegur’s fellow “anons.”

Law enforcement officials later told Fox News that Monsegur was working out of the FBI offices “almost daily” in the weeks after he pleaded guilty in August and then from his own home thereafter, with an agent watching his activity 24 hours a day. Sometimes agents were even posing as Sabu directly.

On Christmas, just after the Stratfor hack, Sabu and I happened to be logged into the same channel on IRC, the chatting protocol that serves as the medium through which most Anonymous members planned large-scale operations. I asked the AntiSec members if they were worried about a law enforcement response to Stratfor. Sabu shot back:

we’re used to that heat

we survived the first rounds of the raids

He was referring to a series of arrests that past summer that had scooped up, worldwide, at least 80 alleged participants in the group. At the time, it was hard to fault his reasoning, since those arrests seemed to have done nothing to slow the group’s terrifying onslaught in 2011.

It was a year in which Anonymous burst into the geopolitical consciousness of the world, assisting Arab Spring activists and attacking the security industry, bedeviling law enforcement and intelligence agencies, carrying out countless hacks against Sony and other large corporations. As protest movements spread to the West, Anonymous provided them with crucial logistics (not to mention a great deal of media attention), from the BART protests in San Francisco to the Occupy actions across the US and overseas. Anonymous had figured out how to infiltrate anything, how to mobilize not just machines but physical bodies, all around the globe.

But Sabu hadn’t survived the first rounds of the raids, and thanks to the evidence he helped the Feds gather, more anons wouldn’t survive the next round. In February, Interpol rounded up 25 more alleged participants worldwide, and a few days later the FBI revealed Monsegur’s cooperation to the news media. Soon five more arrests were made, one from AntiSec and four from LulzSec, another hacker arm of the collective.

The mood on the IRC channels, which at Christmas had been cocky and defiant, modulated to a genuine sadness. One anon wrote plaintively about getting programming advice from Sabu. Another summed up the general feeling among the anons about Sabu’s cooperation with the FBI:

In 2011, Anonymous figured out how to infiltrate anything, to mobilize not just machines but bodies. It was merely a speed bump for the collective but a massive emotional bitchslap for individuals

Was it really just a speed bump? It was impossible to say for sure, because Sabu’s arrest cut to the heart of what Anonymous claimed to be, of how it claimed to organize itself. Or, more accurately: its claim that it did notorganize itself, that it had no leaders and yet boasted participants so innumerable (“We are Legion,” as one of its popular slogans blares) that no ten or hundred or thousand arrests could ever stop it. But in Sabu the FBI had nabbed an anon who was not easy to replace. No one could deny he had served as a crucial force in many of 2011′s most spectacular hacking campaigns.

Presumably the anons arrested on the evidence he helped gather were talented hackers, too. For years, when anyone tried to claim they had uncovered the leader, or leaders, of Anonymous, the group’s members would belittle them online and then sometimes hack them for good measure. Now, with these arrests, Anonymous’ whole self-conception was being put to the test.

The possibility that Anonymous might be telling the truth—that it couldn’t be shut down by jailing or flipping or bribing key participants—was why it became such a terrifying force to powerful institutions worldwide, from governments to corporations to nonprofits. Its wild string of brilliant hacks and protests seemed impossible in the absence of some kind of defined organization. To hear the group and its defenders talk, the leaderless nature of Anonymous makes it a mystical, almost supernatural force, impossible not just to stop but to even comprehend. Anons were, they liked to claim, united as one and divided by zero—undefined and indefinable.

In fact, the success of Anonymous without leaders is pretty easy to understand—if you forget everything you think you know about how organizations work. Anonymous is a classic “do-ocracy,” to use a phrase that’s popular in the open source movement. As the term implies, that means rule by sheer doing: Individuals propose actions, others join in (or not), and then the Anonymous flag is flown over the result. There’s no one to grant permission, no promise of praise or credit, so every action must be its own reward.

What’s harder to comprehend—but just as important, if you want to grasp the future of Anonymous after the arrests—is the radical political consciousness that seized this innumerable throng of Internet misfits. Anonymous became dangerous to governments and corporations not just because of its skills (lots of hackers have those) or its scale but because of the fury of its convictions.

In the beginning, Anonymous was just about self-amusement, the “lulz,” but somehow, over the course of the past few years, it grew up to become a sort of self-appointed immune system for the Internet, striking back at anyone the hive mind perceived as an enemy of freedom, online or offline. It started as a gang of nihilists but somehow evolved into a fervent group of believers. To understand that unlikely transformation, and Anonymous’ peculiar method of (non)organization, it is necessary to start at the very beginning.

Read the rest here.

FBI Arrests LulzSec – Hackers of StratFor, others

Editor’s Note – The FBI was successful in arresting a handful of hackers known to be part of the group called LulzSec which is still an operating subsidiary of the more robust hacking organization known as Anonymous.

Some time ago, the FBI arrested a key leader of LuluSec and then hired him to work as a squealing operative.

Both of these groups have caused tremendous losses and funds to be spent not only in computer systems protection upgrades, but also in recovery costs, lost jobs, military and political secrets being revealed, as well as the cost of the chase and investigation. Still, there is no relief on the horizon as countless hackers within many associated networks remain at large.

Six Hackers in the United States and Abroad Charged for Crimes Affecting Over One Million Victims

Four Principal Members of “Anonymous” and “LulzSec” Charged with Computer Hacking and Fifth Member Pleads Guilty; “AntiSec” Member also Charged with Stealing Confidential Information from Approximately 860,000 Clients and Subscribers of Stratfor.

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York

LulzSec leader Sabu turns FBI snitch, reportedly gives up five top hackers

FBI.com

Five computer hackers in the United States and abroad were charged today, and a sixth pled guilty, for computer hacking and other crimes. The six hackers identified themselves as aligned with the group Anonymous, which is a loose confederation of computer hackers and others, and/or offshoot groups related to Anonymous, including “Internet Feds,” “LulzSec,” and “AntiSec.”

RYAN ACKROYD, a/k/a “kayla,” a/k/a “lol,” a/k/a “lolspoon”; JAKE DAVIS, a/k/a “topiary,” a/k/a “atopiary”; DARREN MARTYN, a/k/a “pwnsauce,” a/k/a “raepsauce,” a/k/a “networkkitten”; and DONNCHA O’CEARRBHAIL, a/k/a “palladium,” who identified themselves as members of Anonymous, Internet Feds, and/or LulzSec, were charged in an indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court with computer hacking conspiracy involving the hacks of Fox Broadcasting Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the Public Broadcasting Service (“PBS”). O’CEARRBHAIL is also charged in a separate criminal complaint with intentionally disclosing an unlawfully intercepted wire communication.

HECTOR XAVIER MONSEGUR, a/k/a “Sabu,” a/k/a “Xavier DeLeon,” a/k/a “Leon,” who also identified himself as a member of Anonymous, Internet Feds, and LulzSec, pled guilty on August 15, 2011 in U.S. District Court to a 12-count information charging him with computer hacking conspiracies and other crimes. MONSEGUR’S information and guilty plea were unsealed today. The crimes to which MONSEGUR pled guilty include computer hacking conspiracy charges initially filed in the Southern District of New York. He also pled guilty to the following charges: a substantive hacking charge initially filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California related to the hacks of HBGary, Inc. and HBGary Federal LLC; a substantive hacking charge initially filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California related to the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Fox Broadcasting Company; a substantive hacking charge initially filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Georgia related to the hack of Infragard Members Alliance; and a substantive hacking charge initially filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia related to the hack of PBS, all of which were transferred to the Southern District of New York, pursuant to Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, in coordination with the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (“CCIPS”) in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Late yesterday, JEREMY HAMMOND, a/k/a “Anarchaos,” a/k/a “sup_g,” a/k/a “burn,” a/k/a “yohoho,” a/k/a “POW,” a/k/a “tylerknowsthis,” a/k/a “crediblethreat,” who identified himself as a member of AntiSec, was arrested in Chicago, Illinois and charged in a criminal complaint with crimes relating to the December 2011 hack of Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (“Stratfor”), a global intelligence firm in Austin, Texas, which may have affected approximately 860,000 victims. In publicizing the Stratfor hack, members of AntiSec reaffirmed their connection to Anonymous and other related groups, including LulzSec. For example, AntiSec members published a document with links to the stolen Stratfor data titled, “Anonymous Lulzxmas rooting you proud” on a file sharing website.

The following allegations are based on the indictment, the information, the complaints, and statements made at MONSEGUR’s guilty plea:

Hacks by Anonymous, Internet Feds, and LulzSec

Since at least 2008, Anonymous has been a loose confederation of computer hackers and others. MONSEGUR and other members of Anonymous took responsibility for a number of cyber attacks between December 2010 and June 2011, including denial of service (“DoS”) attacks against the websites of Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal, as retaliation for the refusal of these companies to process donations to Wikileaks, as well as hacks or DoS attacks on foreign government computer systems.

Between December 2010 and May 2011, members of Internet Feds similarly waged a deliberate campaign of online destruction, intimidation, and criminality. Members of Internet Feds engaged in a series of cyber attacks that included breaking into computer systems, stealing confidential information, publicly disclosing stolen confidential information, hijacking victims’ e-mail and Twitter accounts, and defacing victims’ Internet websites. Specifically, ACKROYD, DAVIS, MARTYN, O’CEARRBHAIL, and MONSEGUR, as members of InternetFeds, conspired to commit computer hacks including: the hack of the website of Fine Gael, a political party in Ireland; the hack of computer systems used by security firms HBGary, Inc. and its affiliate HBGary Federal, LLC, from which Internet Feds stole confidential data pertaining to 80,000 user accounts; and the hack of computer systems used by Fox Broadcasting Company, from which Internet Feds stole confidential data relating to more than 70,000 potential contestants on “X-Factor,” a Fox television show.

In May 2011, following the publicity that they had generated as a result of their hacks, including those of Fine Gael and HBGary, ACKROYD, DAVIS, MARTYN, and MONSEGUR formed and became the principal members of a new hacking group called “Lulz Security” or “LulzSec.” Like Internet Feds, LulzSec undertook a campaign of malicious cyber assaults on the websites and computer systems of various business and governmental entities in the United States and throughout the world. Specifically, ACKROYD, DAVIS, MARTYN, and MONSEGUR, as members of LulzSec, conspired to commit computer hacks including the hacks of computer systems used by the PBS, in retaliation for what LulzSec perceived to be unfavorable news coverage in an episode of the news program “Frontline”; Sony Pictures Entertainment, in which LulzSec stole confidential data concerning approximately 100,000 users of Sony’s website; and Bethesda Softworks, a video game company based in Maryland, in which LulzSec stole confidential information for approximately 200,000 users of Bethesda’s website.

The Stratfor Hack

In December 2011, HAMMOND conspired to hack into computer systems used by Stratfor, a private firm that provides governments and others with independent geopolitical analysis. HAMMOND and his co-conspirators, as members of AntiSec, stole confidential information from those computer systems, including Stratfor employees’ e-mails as well as account information for approximately 860,000 Stratfor subscribers or clients. HAMMOND and his co-conspirators stole credit card information for approximately 60,000 credit card users and used some of the stolen data to make unauthorized charges exceeding $700,000. HAMMOND and his co-conspirators also publicly disclosed some of the confidential information they had stolen.

The Hack of International Law Enforcement

In January 2012, O’CEARRBHAIL hacked into the personal e-mail account of an officer with Ireland’s national police service, the An Garda Siochana (the “Garda”). Because the Garda officer had forwarded work e-mails to a personal account, O’CEARRBHAIL learned information about how to access a conference call that the Garda, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies were planning to hold on January 17, 2012 regarding international investigations of Anonymous and other hacking groups. O’CEARRBHAIL then accessed and secretly recorded the January 17 international law enforcement conference call, and then disseminated the illegally-obtained recording to others.

***

MONSEGUR, 28, of New York, New York, pled guilty to three counts of computer hacking conspiracy, five counts of computer hacking, one count of computer hacking in furtherance of fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum sentence of 124 years and six months in prison.

ACKROYD, 23, of Doncaster, United Kingdom; DAVIS, 29, of Lerwick, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom; and MARTYN, 25, of Galway, Ireland, each are charged with two counts of computer hacking conspiracy. Each conspiracy count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

O’CEARRBHAIL, 19, of Birr, Ireland, is charged in the indictment with one count of computer hacking conspiracy, for which he faces 10 years in prison. He is also charged in the complaint with one count of intentionally disclosing an unlawfully intercepted wire communication, for which he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

HAMMOND, 27, of Chicago, Illinois, is charged with one count of computer hacking conspiracy, one count of computer hacking, and one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

DAVIS is separately facing criminal charges in the United Kingdom, which remain pending, and ACKROYD is being interviewed today by the Police Central e-crime Unit in the United Kingdom. O’CEARRBHAIL was arrested today by the Garda.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The investigation was initiated and led by the FBI, and its New York Cyber Crime Task Force, which is a federal, state, and local law enforcement task force combating cybercrime, with assistance from the PCeU; a unit of New Scotland Yard’s Specialist Crime Directorate, SCD6; the Garda; the Criminal Division’s CCIPS; and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Eastern District of California, the Central District of California, the Northern District of Georgia, and the Eastern District of Virginia; as well as the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.

The charges contained in the indictment and complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Interpol swoop nets 25 suspected ‘Anonymous’ hackers

PsyhOrg.com

“Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain,” said Interpol, based in the French city of Lyon.

The statement cited attacks on the websites of the Colombian Ministry of Defence and the presidency, as well as on Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others.

A masked hacker, part of the Anonymous group, is pictured in Lyon, France, in January 2012. Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the 'Anonymous' hackers group in a swoop on over a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said Tuesday.

The operation was carried out by police from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, the statement said, with 250 items of computer equipment and mobile phones seized in raids on 40 premises in 15 cities.

Police also seized credit cards and cash from the suspects, aged 17 to 40.

“This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity,” said Bernd Rossbach, Interpol’s acting director of police services.

However, it was not clear what evidence there was to prove those arrested were part of Anonymous, an extremely loose-knit international movement of online activists, or “hacktivists.”

Spanish police said earlier they had arrested four suspected hackers accused of sabotaging websites and publishing confidential data on the Internet.

They were accused of hacking the websites of political parties and companies and adding fangs to the faces of leaders in photographs online, and publishing data identifying top officials’ security guards, Spanish police said.

The operation, carried out after trawling through computer logs in order to trace IP addresses, also netted 10 suspects in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia, Spanish police said.

They said one of the suspects went by the nicknames Thunder and Pacotron and was suspected of running the computer network used by Anonymous in Spain and Latin America, via servers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

He was arrested in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

Two of the suspects were in detention while one was bailed and the fourth was a minor who was left in the care of his parents.

In Santiago, deputy prefect Jaime Jara said police confiscated computer equipment belonging to five Chileans and a Colombian, aged between 17 and 23.

Jara said the suspects appeared to have hacked web pages in Chile, Colombia and Spain.

The six suspects did not know each other and were released after voluntarily giving statements, police said, though they will likely be ordered to appear in court to face possible charges relating to online crimes.

Anonymous has in recent weeks targeted the websites of a series of police organisations, with subgroup “Antisec” on Friday vandalising the website of a major US prison contractor.

Anonymous took credit Thursday for an online raid on the Los Angeles Police Canine Association and previously attacked websites of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Anonymous has notably defended WikiLeaks when it was facing a funding cutoff and recently collaborated with the anti-secrecy site for the release of a swathe of emails from Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor.

In December 2010, Anonymous attacked the websites of Mastercard, PayPal, Visa and others for blocking donations to WikiLeaks after it began releasing thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.