UK police arrest five Anonymous WikiLeaks defenders

The five males are suspected to have taken part in attacks on major websites

UK police arrested three teenagers and two other people on Thursday for allegedly taking part in a series of denial-of-service attacks against major websites earlier this year as part of the loosely affiliated group "Anonymous."

The five males, who range in age from 15 to 26, will be charged with offenses under the Computer Misuse Act of 1990. The arrests were carried out by the Metropolitan Police's Police Central e-Crime Unit on Thursday morning in the West Midlands, Northhamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey and London.

If convicted, each of the five could face up to 10 years in prison and a £5,000 (US$8,000) fine.

International law enforcement agencies in Europe and the U.S. are continuing to investigate Anonymous. The group, which has conducted denial-of-service attacks in the past against Scientology-related websites, most recently came in spotlight after the grassroots movement sought to punish companies that severed ties with WikiLeaks.

Companies including PayPal, Visa and MasterCard said they would no longer process payments to WikiLeaks following the site's disclosure of secret U.S. diplomatic cables. Anonymous members then started an electronic assault, bombarding those sites with traffic to try and shut them down.

Anonymous also helped promote a tool dubbed the "Low Orbit Ion Cannon" that would let less sophisticated users join the attack. One version of the tool is a client application that is downloaded by a user and can be remotely controlled via an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) or be manually configured. The other is a JavaScript-based Web site.

Researchers who studied the tool found that it was very easy for ISPs and investigators to trace the source of the attack by looking at the attacker's IP (Internet protocol) address.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimeinternetlegalInternet-based applications and servicesCriminalNone

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?