Feeds

Police probe British Anonymous activists

Scotland Yard on the case

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed it is investigating the activities of Anonymous, the online activism movement recently under the spotlight for its DDoS attacks in support of WikiLeaks.

The probe was launched several months ago, apparently following complaints about Anonymous' attacks on the website of ACS:Law, a London legal firm controversially targeting file-sharers. It also targeted the BPI, the record industry trade body.

"Earlier this year the Metropolitan Police Service received a number of allegations of 'denial-of-service' cyber attacks against several companies by a group calling themselves Anonymous," the Met said in a statement.

"The Metropolitan Police Service is monitoring the situation relating to recent and ongoing denial of service attacks and will investigate where appropriate."

Anonymous attacked ACS:Law in September as part of its "Operation: Payback Is A Bitch", which targeted organisations connected to the music and film industries in Europe and the US.

Further attacks were launched after the firm's founder, Andrew Crossley, mocked the group's initial DDoS in an interview with The Register. Disastrous efforts to restore the website then publicly exposed confidential company files, including the personal data of ACS:Law's targets. The Information Commissioner is investigating the apparent breach of the Data Protection Act by the firm.

Meanwhile, the Met's investigation of the incident – and the more recent WikiLeaks-related attacks on the websites of Visa, Mastercard and PayPal – could have serious consequences for British members of Anonymous. Mounting a DDoS attack is an offence under the Computer Misuse Act, and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Dutch computer crime police, who have close links to the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit, have already arrested two alleged participants. Anonymous' LOIC tool, which coordinates its DDoS attacks, makes no attempt to disguise the sources of the bombardment of requests it fires at target servers.

A Greek web designer has also been detained after he was traced from an Anonymous press release. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.