Spain's national police force has arrested three individuals it believes are linked to activist cyberattack group Anonymous.
The National Police Corps of Spain said on Friday that the arrests meant it had dismantled the leadership of the anonymous cell in Spain.
A computer was found in the homes of one of the arrested individuals that was used to coordinate and implement computer attacks against government, financial and business websites across the world, according to a Spanish police press release made available on Saturday morning.
On late Friday a twitter account linked to anonymous — @anonops — tweeted "V for Spain... We are legion, so EXPECT US".
The three individuals were arrested in Barcelona, Valencia and Almeria. Spanish police claim one of those arrested used a computer to attack the websites of the Sony PlayStation Store; the governments of Egypt, Algeria, Libya, New Zealand; and the Catalan police, among others.
More than two million lines of log chats and web pages were analysed to make the arrests.
Malware-manufacturing and encryption software was found in one of the homes, police said. Two of those arrested had no internet connection themselves and were instead connecting to the internet through local Wi-Fi networks.
Anonymous has claimed responsibility for a range of attacks on government and civil institutions across the globe, including MasterCard and multiple distributed-denial-of-service attacks against Sony. However, Anonymous has denied responsibility for the incursion that led to Sony taking its online gaming service — the PSN network — offline.
In January the FBI announced that it had carried out over 40 searches across the US as part of an investigation into Anonymous members suspected of being involved in the Operation Payback series of DDoS attacks.