25 individuals suspected to be Anonymous members have been arrested during a coordinated international operation supported by Interpol across four countries in Europe and Latin America.
“Operation Unmask” was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain against the Colombian Ministry of Defense and presidential websites, as well as Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library, among others.
All in all, the police seized some 250 items of IT equipment and mobile phones, and payment cards and cash, during the searches of 40 premises across 15 cities. The suspected hackers are aged 17 to 40, and the investigation into their alleged illegal activities continues.
The Spanish police also issued a statement saying that the four people detained in Spain have perpetrated DDoS attacks and defacements of websites of political parties, institutions and companies, and are also being accused of publishing private data on the Internet.
Among the arrested individuals are “Thunder” or “Pacotron”, allegedly responsible for administering and managing the IT infrastructure used by Anonymous in Spain and Latin America – server hosted in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria; “Troy”, allegedly responsible for the leaking od personal data of the members of the National Police; and a 16 year old girl, allegedly a member of a hacking group that allied with Anonymous.
The two servers in Bulgaria and the Check Republic have been shut down.
After Interpol made public the operation and the arrests, Anonymous mounted a DDoS attack against its website and downed it for a while on Tuesday, bragging about it on Twitter. The site is now back online.
The news of the arrest comes only days after WikiLeaks announced the release of internal Stratfor emails stolen by Anonymous.