New York Times is reporting that three suspects have been arrested by the Spanish police for their alleged involvement in the attack on the Sony PlayStation Network in April. They are considered the "local leadership" of the Anonymous hacker group, which operates anonymously but cooperatively in cells spread around the world.
The trio first caught the Spanish police'e eye back in October when they protested the Spanish Ministry of Culture's legislation for "increasing punishments for illegal downloads" by attacking the Ministry's Web site, according to the article. After analyzing chat logs and Web pages, the police was able to trace the source of the Sony PlayStation online gaming store outage to one of the suspect's server, which operates out of his apartment in Gijón. It is apparently the same server that also brought down other sites: two Spanish banks, the Italian energy company Enel, as well as government sites in Spain, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Iran, Chile, Colombia and New Zealand.
If proven guilty, the hackers could face up to three years in jail for forming an illegal association to attack public and corporate Web sites.
It is unclear if the suspects or the group were the only ones responsible for the breach of the PSN and other sites, or whether Anonymous partnered with other hacker organizations to target Sony online entities.
Related ZDNet coverage:
- Sony apologizes to PSN members at E3, says 'you're welcome' to media
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- Sony's "Welcome Back Package" for PlayStation Network outage is worth barely over $100
- Sony implicates 'Anonymous' in PlayStation Network attack
- Sony reveals 'Anonymous' file was found on entertainment servers
- Sony's PlayStation Network hit by "external intrusion"