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Posted at 10:26 AM ET, 01/27/2011

Five Anonymous hacker suspects arrested in Britain, police say

By Hayley Tsukayama

Police in the United Kingdom have arrested five men in connection with the Anonymous hacking group, largely credited for denial of service attacks carried out in support of WikiLeaks and its editor Julian Assange.

London's Metropolitan Police Service issued a statement saying that it had arrested five males, ranging in age from 15-26, in connection with "in relation to recent and ongoing 'distributed denial of service' attacks (DDoS) by an online group calling themselves 'Anonymous.'" Of those arrested, two are under the age of 18 and three are teenagers.

Anonymous is the group of "hacktivists" that has taken credit for attacks against companies such as Amazon and PayPal in support of Assange and WikiLeaks after the Web site leaked thousands of U.S. State Department cables.

The release said all five men were being held in police custody and that the arrests are part of an ongoing investigation, "being carried out in conjunction with international law enforcement agencies in Europe and the U.S."

Dutch authorities have already arrested a 16-year-old male in connection with Anonymous, who reportedly admitted being involved in attacks against credit card companies.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 27, 2011; 10:26 AM ET
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I'm sure glad our law enforcement professionals are concentrating on this type of 'serious threat' rather than wasting time looking for nut cases with guns.

Posted by: anon523 | January 27, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure they are involved in more than 1 investigation. Also, where do you suppose they should look for nut cases with guns?

Posted by: RireGrist | January 27, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

So just as I thought, they are able to track down the people who are in charge of the DOS (Denial Of Service) attacks on the people against wikileaks, but what about the HUGE DOS (Denial Of Service) attacks that attacked Wikileaks and led to them being dropped from their host because of them? I am sure this group did not do that, hmmm maybe the group that found these guys also are in charge of those attacks against wikileaks? would not surprise me!

Posted by: ArizonaCentral | January 28, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

They are being arrested for running a program on their computer that mimics pressing the "refresh" button on a browser over and over - barely any faster than what you can do with your finger. It only automates the process (and poorly; it's arguably more effective to click it manually). It seems to me dishonest to call this a DDoS, which is traditionally executed using a botnet made up of 'zombie' computers. Their targets were isolated to the public storefronts of each organization and they in no way disrupted business activities or services. The 'Low Orbit Ion Cannon' application they used does nothing but load a target web page over and over. This is not complicated or require a high degree of technical understanding, yet there seems to be something about it that prevents people from speaking about the reality of it in plainly spoken and simple language.

Strange world we live in - be careful with that 'Refresh' button on your browser, folks!

Posted by: gluckspilz | January 28, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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