Anonymous members arrested in Interpol raids

International police nabs 25 suspected members, across four countries, of hacker group Anonymous but its Web site goes down briefly after announcement of arrests.

Interpol says it has arrested 25 individuals suspected to be linked to the Anonymous hacking group in a raid that covered four countries in Latin America and Europe.

In a statement released earlier this week, Interpol said the arrests were part of Operation Unmask which was launched in mid-February, following a series of coordinated cyberattacks from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain. These attacks targeted the Colombian Ministry of Defense and presidential Web sites as well as Chile's Endesa electricity company and national library.

Interpol confiscated 250 IT equipment and mobile phones during the search of 40 premises in 15 countries. Payment cards and cash were also seized as part of a continued investigation into the funding of illegal activities carried out by the suspected hackers, who were 17 to 40 years old.

Bernd Rossbach, acting Interpol executive director of police services, warned that cybercrimes would result in real-world consequences. "This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity, no matter where it originates or where it is targeted," he said.

Interpol's Web site was down briefly after news of the arrests broke, reported the Guardian, which noted that supporters of Anonymous claimed they had targeted the site after the arrests were made.

However, Interpol's Web site was "quickly back up and running but was loading slowly", said the report.


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