The F.B.I. arrested 16 members of hacking group “Anonymous” today across the US. Arrests were made in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and Ohio.
The arrests are the result of a concerted effort by Federal authorities to address the growing anxiety over malicious cyber-attacks orchestrated by prominent hactivist organizations.
Of the 16 arrests made today, 14 of the defendants are said to be responsible for the DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks on PayPal. Anonymous’ intention in that attack was to protest the abdication of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks.
The final two arrests made were against perpetrators of AT&T and InfraGard. In both cases, accounts were broken into and confidential information leaked to the public.
The Department of Justice later verified the arrests and pointed to similar arrests occurring across the Atlantic. The UK are said to have captured a member of Lulzsec.
Today’s events dictate a clear message to those who decide to partake in cyberattacks–act at your own risk. The feds have proven that they have the methods to capture and prosecute individuals and groups participating in illegal Internet activities.