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UK cops arrest five in Anonymous attacks probe

Suspects aged 15 to 26 cuffed in raids

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Scotland Yard has arrested five people under the Computer Misuse Act as part of its investigation into alleged attacks by the Anonymous hacking collective.

The five males - aged, 15, 16, 19, 20 and 26 - were arrested in a series of co-ordinated raids on Thursday morning by detectives from Scotland Yard's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU).

The raids took place in the West Midlands, Northants, Herts, Surrey and London as part of an ongoing investigation into Anonymous. All five unnamed suspects were taken to local police stations for questioning.

"The arrests are in relation to recent and ongoing 'distributed denial of service' attacks (DDoS) by an online group calling themselves 'Anonymous'," a brief statement by the PCeU explains.

The loose-knit Anonymous collective has invited volunteers to download its LOIC denial of service tool in order to swamp targeted sites with junk traffic. The use of the tool took off with attacks against the entertainment industry and organisations, such as controversial solicitors ACS:Law. Much the same approach was applied against financial service organisations, such as Mastercard and PayPal, which suspended accounts maintained by WikiLeaks.

The LOIC does a poor job of preserving users' anonymity, hence the risk for anyone using it that they may come to the attention of local law enforcement agencies. ®

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