Feeds

FBI serves 40 search warrants in Anonymous crackdown

Worldwide DDoS dragnet

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

FBI agents executed more than 40 search warrants on Thursday as part of an investigation into coordinated web attacks carried out by the hacking collective known as Anonymous.

The distributed denial-of-service attacks targeted US companies that angered the ragtag group, presumably because they cut off services WikiLeaks needed to raise money. The search warrants coincided with the early morning arrests of five UK youths accused of participating in the DDoS spree.

Word of the crackdown first surfaced in the US four weeks ago. Metropolitan Police in the UK confirmed their investigation in mid December.

Anonymous members have said the assaults were in retaliation for attempts to stifle the secret-spilling website. Group members on Thursday stepped up the bluster with a press release declaring war on UK authorities for having the nerve to enforce their country's laws.

The FBI was undeterred.

“The FBI also is reminding the public that facilitating or conducting a DDoS attack is illegal, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, as well as exposing participants to significant civil liability,” the agency said in a press release.

Thursday's arrests were part of an international police probe carried out by law enforcement agencies throughout Europe and the US. A French official told the Associated Press that a 15-year-old suspected of masterminding the attacks was arrested in December. The unidentified teen has since been released, but his computer was confiscated.

That same month, a 16-year-old boy in the Netherlands was arrested for allegedly carrying out attacks on Visa and MasterCard after the credit card companies stopped processing payments to WikiLeaks.

Researchers have said members of Anonymous modified a piece of open-source software to create what they call the Low Orbit Ion Cannon. The tool allows large groups of online protestors to simultaneously unleash torrents of data on websites they want to bring down. While it's relatively effective, it does nothing to cloak the IP address of those who use it, making it easy for investigators to catch those participating in the attacks. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.