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Spanish police cuff three Anonymous hack suspects

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Updated Spanish national police have arrested three suspected members of the infamous Anonymous hacking crew.

The arrests in Barcelona, Alicante and Almeria involve suspects who allegedly had the ability to direct operations for Anonymous, the loosely affiliated hacking crew. Spanish police claim to have disrupted a key cell of the organisation. A server hosted in the Spanish city of Gijon was seized as part of these raids.

Investigators reckon the group is responsible for masterminding attacks on the Spain's Central Electoral Board (la Junta Electoral Central) last month as well as Sony's PlayStation Store. The group was also involved in attacks against government websites in Egypt, Algeria and Libya. Spanish police have already published, via Twitter, screensots from IRC logs that appear to show discussion of plans to attack the Spanish electoral board as well as Spanish police websites.

The logs don't say but we guess the attacks are a response to proposed legislation to make filesharing illegal in Spain.

None of the suspects have been named, standard practice at this stage of a police investigation in Spain. A division of the national police handling this case shares responsibility for the investigation of cybercrime cases with El Grupo de Delitos Telemáticos (GDT) of the Guardia Civil in Spain.

Anonymous is well known for attacks directed at the entertainment industry in response to what it sees as the harassment of file sharers as well as attacks against financial services firms and other organisations who withdrew payment facilities from WikiLeaks after the whistle blowing website started publishing US diplomatic cables.

Tactics used by Anonymous include co-ordinating denial of service attacks on targeted websites as well as deeper attacks against organisations that haves raised its ire, in particular defunct filesharing bothering solicitors ACS:law and HBGary Federal, which planned to out members of the group at a security conference. Both organisations had their corporate systems infiltrated before their private and confidential emails were published as a torrent.

More commentary on the arrests in a blog post by Spanish security firm Panda Security here (en Español). ®

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