Anonymous DDoS swoop results in five arrests

The Metropolitan Police have detained five young men, including a 15-year-old, suspected of taking part in DDoS attacks launched by Wikileaks defenders Anonymous
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Police have arrested five young men on suspicion of taking part in distributed denial-of-service attacks launched by Anonymous, the group that has targeted corporate sites for attack in defence of Wikileaks.

Met Police arrests

The Metropolitan Police have arrested five young men in connection with DDoS attacks launched by Anonymous. Photo credit: Metropolitan Police

The five, who are aged between 15 and 26, were detained at 7am on Thursday at addresses in the West Midlands, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey and London, the Metropolitan Police Central eCrime Unit (PCeU) said in a statement. The suspects were taken to local police stations and remain in custody, the police added.

The Anonymous group of activists undertook a number of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks last year, using a tool called the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) to try to overwhelm servers. The group successfully took down websites belonging to companies including Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, in protest at their suspension of donation-payment processing for the Wikileaks whistle-blowing operation.

The police said the arrests were made as part of an ongoing law enforcement investigation being carried out internationally. It plans to charge the suspects with offences under the Computer Misuse Act, which prohibits impairing the operation of a computer or the readability of data. The offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of £5,000.

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