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Dutch police arrest 16-year-old WikiLeaks avenger

The first, but probably not the last

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Dutch police said they have arrested a 16-year-old boy for participating in web attacks against MasterCard and Visa as part of a grassroots push to support WikiLeaks.

A press release issued on Thursday (Google translation here) said the unnamed boy confessed to the distributed denial-of-service attacks after his computer gear was seized.

He was arrested in The Hague, and is scheduled to be arraigned before a judge in Rotterdam on Friday. It is the first known report of an arrest in the ongoing attacks, which started earlier this week.

The arrest came shortly after anonops.net, a Netherlands-hosted website used to coordinate attacks against companies perceived as harming WikiLeaks, was taken offline. A Panda Security researcher said the website was itself the victim of DDoS attacks, but the investigation by the Dutch High Tech Crime Team has also involved “digital data carriers,” according to the release.

It didn't specify the crimes the boy was charged with or say exactly what his involvement in the attacks was.

According to researchers, the Low Orbit Ion Cannon tool, which thousands of WikiLeaks sympathizers are using to unleash the DDoS attacks, takes no steps to conceal their IP addresses. It wouldn't be surprising if attackers who used the application from internet connections at their home or work also receive a call from local law enforcement agencies. ®

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