Feeds

FBI serves 40 search warrants in Anonymous crackdown

Worldwide DDoS dragnet

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.