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Two UK suspects cuffed in Anonymous manhunt

Computer Misuse Act invoked

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British police have arrested two men as part of a continuing investigation with the FBI into computer attacks carried out under the flags of the Anonymous and Lulz Security hacking crews.

The men, aged 20 and 24, were arrested on Thursday in Mexborough, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, and Warminster, Wiltshire, under suspicion of committing offenses under the Computer Misuse Act, an article published on Friday in The Guardian reported. The men were arrested separately, and computer equipment from a Doncaster address was confiscated for forensic examination.

“The arrests relate to our inquiries into a series of serious computer intrusions and online denial-of-service attacks recently suffered by a number of multi-national companies, public institutions and government and law enforcement agencies in Great Britain and the United States," said Detective Inspector Mark Raymond from the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit, according to a separate article from the Associated Press.

Over the past 18 months, people claiming affiliation with Anonymous and the splinter group Lulz Security have take responsibility for breaching the security of Sony, the CIA, Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency and multiple US law enforcement groups. The attacks continued Thursday with the reported leak of internal email and documents from 28 Texas police chiefs.

Thursday's arrests came the same day Scotland Yard charged two men with attacks also attributed to Anonymous. Christopher Weatherhead, 20, of Northampton, and Ashley Rhodes, 26, of Kennington, south London, were charged with conspiracy to carry out an unauthorized act in relation to a computer. They are scheduled to in Westminster Magistrates' Court on September 7.

Two other suspects, including 22-year-old Peter David Gibson and a 17-year-old from Chester, have already been charged in the case, which relates to denial-of-service attacks on PayPal, Amazon, MasterCard, Bank of America, and Visa in December.

The arrests are part of a trans-Atlantic crackdown on Anonymous following an 18-month hacking spree by the loosely organized griefer group. In the past few months, dozens of people in North America and Europe have been snared in the probe, including 14 people in the US and five in the UK and the Netherlands. ®

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