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A haul of suspected hackers allegedly linked to the Anonymous cabal has been hauled in by a wide ranging Interpol operation named ‘Operation Unmask’. Interpol announced that it has collared 25 suspected hackers across four countries in Latin America and Europe.

The agency boasted that 250 items of IT equipment and mobile phones were also seized during, searches of 40 premises across 15 cities during the operation, as well as payment cards and cash, as part of a continuing investigation into the funding of illegal activities carried out by the suspected hackers.

Those arrested are are aged 17 to 40, Interpol said.

“This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity, no matter where it originates or where it is targeted,” said Bernd Rossbach, acting Interpol executive director of Police Services.

The covert operation was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain against the Colombian Ministry of Defence and presidential websites, as well as Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others.

The swoop comes days after Wikileaks unveiled a massive document dump of e-mails obtained from Stratfor which, if accurate, illuminate systemic corruption and insider trading.

Wikileaks claimed the emails also demonstrate the US government’s campaign against it, claiming that the Stratfor documents include “more than 4,000 emails mentioning Wikileaks or Julian Assange”.

It's widely assumed that the Stratfor documents were copied by Anonymous, which claimed credit for gaining access to the company's e-mail system in December. ®

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