back to article Greek police cuff Anonymous spokesman suspect

Greek police have reportedly arrested a web designer whose name appeared in a press release issued by online hacktivists Anonymous last week. The PDF-format press release outlined Anonymous' loose-knit structure and immediate objectives of launching online attacks against organisations that have severed commercial ties with …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Anonymous will have a lot to answer for

    If the internet becomes a war zone

    If attacking websites illegally in retribution for their collaboration with those in power is effective, then it will become a tool that can be used without fear of prosecution by governments wishing to sensor the internet. Turning the internet into a war zone is a very bad idea as it hands control back to the people who already have all the power.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Epic Fail !!! Love AnonOPS

      Pretty Sad for a company that says they and i quote from google - " Arbor Networks is a global provider of DDoS denial of service attack protection "

      But your website is down !

      It's not just you! looks down from here.

    2. MinionZero
      Big Brother

      Inevitable consequences of the governments attitude to the people they represent

      @AC: "it will become a tool that can be used without fear of prosecution by governments wishing to sensor the internet."

      That "sensor" spelling mistake is an interesting Freudian Slip, because the governments do wish to sensor (as in spy on and detect) as well as censor to silence critics. However governments do not have fear of prosecution, because in their minds they are totally in the right and to prove it, they simply change the law to allow them to do it and show they are in the right!

      @AC, whatever happens now and in the future, we can all see the signs of the governments seek to relentlessly increase their control of the Internet (TheReg news has shown us so many examples of this over the years) so even if the government do use Anonymous as an excuse, they would have done the same, even if they didn't have Anonymous as a hate target to try to teach us all to fear them.

      Which also means the social reactions to the governments one sided increasingly Orwellian moves is also inevitably heading toward increasing social resistance to the continued government abuses of peoples freedom, privacy and liberty. On top of this the governments are relentlessly lying to us, which is being shown up in Wikileaks. These lies are literally Treason against the people they say they represent!. Is it any wonder people are getting angry and increasingly showing their anger!

      What is starting to happen now was therefore inevitable and the governments only have themselves to blame for the anger their increasingly tyrannically attitudes are generating against them. But as usual they refuse to believe they are to blame, no matter how many lies and deceptions get highlighted against them and no matter how much their increasingly tyrannically attitudes destroy our freedom, privacy and liberty.

      So is it any wonder more people have had enough and are getting angry! So worrying about the effects of Anonymous is pointless. Worry instead about how to get through the wall of profound arrogance found in government people.

  2. Christoph


    "The properties of the document contained the name of the author, Alex Tapanaris"

    That should read:

    "The properties of the document contained the name of the author, Brainless Prat"

    1. Wize

      Friend of mine had the same accident

      She sent her CV off to a few companies with the Author set to 'Shit Bag'


    2. Anton Ivanov

      You are nearly spot on

      Tapanaris _IS_ more or less "Brainless Prat" in Bulgarian

      Tap - blunt, second meaning - stupid.

      Tapanar - Village Idiot would be a good equivalent.

      Tapanaris - same made to sound like it is a valid greek family name.

      By the way, I am not sure if this is not a "Brainless Prank" from across the border in the northerly direction. That would have been my first assumption.

  3. Bilgepipe
    Thumb Up

    Have No Fear

    The WikiLeaks fighting fund will help him with his legal costs, just ask Bradley Manning.

  4. Code Monkey

    Graun: Inside Anonymous

    The Graun ran a great article the other day, which managed to avoid foaming at the mouth criticism and breathless fanboyism. It's well worth a read:

  5. Mad Mike

    Police Standards of Evidence

    So, on the basis of his name appearing in the properties of a PDF document, he's guilty? Nobodies ever faked the properties of a document before have they? If this is all they have, I would have thought a quick nothing to do with me should immediately result in release. This really is the weakest evidence known to man, but seemingly the Greek police are as bad at investigating anything internet or technology related as our own police in the UK.

    Even those arrested in the Netherlands have relatively little evidence against them. Just because it was run from their machines doesn't automatically mean they did it!! That's what botnets etc. are for. For the evidence to stick against them, I would have thought the police would need to prove a negative, e.g. their machines weren't part of a botnet and we all know about proving negatives don't we!! As the police have to prove their case, they will have to prove the computers weren't part of a botnet...........

    Or, according to the police, does everyone with a computer now have to be technologically adept enough to ensure their machines aren't ever used for anything dodgy? That should write off 99% of the user base.

    The police really need to up their game more than a little

    1. Anonymous Coward

      That's how they caught this guy (a.k.a. "The BTK Killer")

      The initial evidence (name on a doc property, IP address, etc) provides justification for a warrant that would then find or not find adequate evidence to prove the allegation in a court of law. Versus a civil proceeding (like copyright violation for filesharing) which only require a preponderance of the evidence (51+%) these criminal charges have a much higher standard (in the US "Beyond a reasonable doubt") but at the end of the day, it's for a jury to decide.

      Also, a compromised machine should be a valid defense... but it won't take too much effort for someone to determine if the version of LOIC on the machine was part of a malware/rootkit, a "good" copy intentionally installed, or the web based version. Of course, it might not be so clear cut regarding an intentionally installed "good" version vs. a malware version... which would work for the defense more than it would for the prosecution.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Ever considered that you don't know everything that's going on in these cases and that maybe there is a little more to it than that which is being published? Or is it just "The Man" against poor innocents?

    3. Gav

      Not guilty. Suspected

      What are you on about? You do understand the difference between being a suspect, and being guilty, don't you? Thankfully, it's quite a big difference. The police don't decide whether you are guilty, and arresting you does not make you guilty.

      I doubt the police are even claiming this evidence is anything like conclusive enough to prove him guilty . It is, however, exactly the sort of evidence that police will follow up on, which leads to other evidence, which is conclusive enough to suggest prosecution will prove you guilty.

      So I imaging what's happening right now is the background of this guy is being looked at, and they have enough to allow them to have a look at what might be found on his computer and in his house. And if he's clueless enough to have allowed his name to go out on a PDF's properties, they'll likely to not have to look far.

    4. BillG

      Dumb and Anonymous

      > So, on the basis of his name appearing in the properties of a PDF document, he's guilty?

      No, on the basis of his name appearing in the properties of a PDF document, he's a SUSPECT and subject to arrest. It takes a judge and jury to determine if he's guilty. Understand?

      > If this is all they have, I would have thought a quick nothing to do with me should immediately result in release.

      Yes, that's it - release anyone who says they didn't do the crime! Let's empty out the jails!

      "Did you do it?"

      "No, nothing to do with me".

      "O.K., you're free to go!"

      Mad Mike has revolutionized criminal proceedings!

      Here's a question - what if this guy's enough of a doofus that it IS his name on the PDF, and his computer contains the original document?

      These "anonymous" clowns are really giving Activism a bad name. A true activist is ready to stand up for what he believes in and put his name out there.

      Mad Mike, you can't insist and demand that everyone see the law the way you see it. Remember this - if geeks hack computers because they know how computers work, then police will hack the law because they know how the law works.

  6. jake Silver badge

    "cyber war"? Fucking numpties.

    Using the word "cyber" in supposedly serious conversation is a guaranteed flag that the speaker is completely clueless.

    The "Anonymous" twits are just that ... twits. Ignore the kids. Don't give 'em any press. All they are looking for is attention from their Mums. By writing about them, you are giving them that attention by proxy. Knock it off, already. You are just encouraging them.

    First rule of animal training: Never reward bad behavior.

  7. James Micallef Silver badge

    Arrested for what?

    writing a document? posting / publishing it? being part of a group?

    None of this stuff is illegal, and nowhere is it mentioned that he was personally involved in the DOS attacks. fuzz just rattling the cages under political pressure, methinks

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    it's all a plot by the oldf*gs to use newf*gs to provide epic lulz,

    1) have nf herd do something stupid (ddos websites of high value / risk )

    2) watch as the law stamps on them

    3) Watch the comical legal escapades


    5) PROFIT

    The lulz are had.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      b& and v&.

  9. John Riddoch

    XKCD commentary...

  10. Geoff Campbell

    Which bit of "Anonymous"....

    ....was he having problems understanding? All of it, by the look of things.


  11. Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous The End Bad Guy of The Internet

    Now reduced to cancerous newfag skiddies, trying to save the world.

    There was a time when people bought a dog to protect themselves from domestic terrorists.

    This "hacker" who can't keep himself "Anonymous" should an hero nao!

    Enough with the memes?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    XKCD says it again

    Put your mouse over the image for the tooltip:

  13. Dave Murray Silver badge

    Not so Anonymous

    He should have stuck to playing WOW in his mum's basement.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hacking for dummies?

    "The properties of the document contained the name of the author"

    Bloomin' script kiddies. Even if you went so close to the bottom of the barrel as to pick me up, I wouldn't have let THAT slip through.

  15. Mad Mike

    Evidential Trail

    Whilst I appreciate this chap may actually have written this document and be a complete idiot, it is actually up to the police to 'prove' he wrote it. This requires evidential trails and all sorts of things like that which are hard enough to do when you mean to on business systems, let alone on a home users system. In short, the police have nothing. There is no way they can prove he did write the document (strangely enough being named in properties is evidentially worth nothing) and so there is no possible case. This even supposes writing the document was illegal in the first place. The worst it could be is threatening.

    The police and politicians under pressure from the US are simply trying to put the scarers on people. If people on the jury are stupid enough to believe the properties of a pdf are proof positive he did it, they need removing from the gene pool along with his lawyer.

    1. Tiddles the cat


      Presumably they would just seize his computer and find the source he used to generate the pdf. Or they could scrape the blocks of the document off the raw drive if he was smart to delete it etc.

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Of course.

      You're completely right, but chances are that they are using that document as a "holding charge" to gain access to his computer etc, which they are probably currently analysing very carefully for proof of wrongdoing. IANAL, and not Greek, so I can't tell how well evidence obtained by such dodgy means would stand in a Greek court.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The sad thing...

      The sad thing is, this will be enough for most jury members who aren't smart enough to change it for themselves.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Evidential Trail

      Bearing in mind that this is all speculation based only on what I have read in the Reg article, if they arrested him then presumably they will have also seized his computers and if he was silly enough to have left his name in the doc then he probably also has a copy on his machine, and who knows what else of an incriminating nature; not to mention anything else the "Man" cares to plant.

      If he didn't author the doc then all they have is the other incriminating material, and whatever they plant.

    5. JohnG


      Leaving his name in the PDF is enough to get the guy arrested and give the cops a reason to confiscate all computers they think he has had used recently, along with any form of storage. If he was careless enough to leave his name in the PDF, he is probably careless enough to have left some other evidence of his activities with Anonymous.

  16. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Oh great a martyr

    Every war has them...

  17. Anonymous Coward


    "Arbor Networks is a global provider of DDoS denial of service attack protection"

    That's one truckload of irony right?!

    Looks like their website is DOWN.

  18. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Fear-reducing terrorism spotted!

    "Last week of DDoS attacks surrounding Wikileaks supporters and opponents falls far short of a 'cyberwar'. While it makes a far less sexy headline, cyber-vandalism may be a more apt description."

    WHAT! If people realize this, how can we keep them cowed in fear of cyber-terrorism, demand Large Budgets, give the Peace Laureate an Internet Kill Switch for his birthday and go on Book Signing Tours while advertising Cybercalypse Now? THE HORROR!

  19. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    cyberwar, or cybervandalism?

    More like cyber-protest according to them, and the methods fit the bill. Only minorly disruptive but generating a lot of press; not really "anonymous". It's a bit like standing on time square with a placard. Funny thing is, the latter will get you arrested too, these days.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Greek coppers are beyond clueless

    Don't compare UK police with these goons... UK police are absolute stars compared to Greek police. Worst thing is these idiots are all armed and don't even know how to handle their weapons correctly...

    I lived in that country for half my life..They are untrained thugs at the best of times.. seriously with 4 months basic training they are let loose on the streets with loaded weapons and minimal supervision. All weapons are kept with them in their own homes (at least was the case in the 90's don't know if this has changed) without even a requirement to keep them in a gun safe.. Some told me they even keep it under their pillow ...

    This is clearly inappropriate evidence but that has never stopped these idiots..

    If anyone has forgotten - there is the case of rixstep in Crete where they arrested a swedish programmer (what is it with swedes!!!) based on his domain appearing as from in some spam!!! and that he wrote an article about how to deal with spam - ergo he did it cause he knows what he is talking about. ( or something like that - can't remember exactly..)

  21. Absent

    They probably think they are all so "elite"

    That's one downside has having a group with absolutely no structure. Any wannabe plonker can declare themselves part of it or to speak for it. And the ones that speak out and seek the attention will probably be the most clueless of all and make the whole look like completely hopeless amateurs. The Greek/Geek police have removed one more turnip from the internet. Good.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    How dense can he be?

    Never use legit software registered, with your full name, when you installed it to commit crimes... shit I never type my full legal name on anything I install. My OS, MSOffice Suite, nothing! I I buy all my shit at that.

    Stuff at work is probably different, but who would use their work resources for mischief? Im still waiting for you UK guys to call this guy a muppet. Cracks me up everytime I see that posted here. LOL

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Greek police are the muppets u muppet...

      Though user is a looser muppet for leaving his name in an 'anonymous' muppet declaration..

      Allright muppet??

  23. Psylocke

    Site Down Due to DDOS = Epic Fail

    From Google on the cached page The company says they are a " Arbor Networks is a global provider of DDoS denial of service attack protection, "


    Yet website is down due to DDOS Doh

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Get a clue, people

    So nobody has ever activated stolen software using the serial number and personal details of a legitimate user. Yeah, right.


  25. Hi, I'm Bob!

    A title appears! Your action?

    How exactly can one "speak for Anonymous?" Does a drop of water represent the sea? Can the opinion of one American be taken to be the opinion of a Nation? Can one individual truly speak for the Internet? How can you prove “membership” in a group that rejects the very idea?

    As much as I understand that this is a concept that hurts some people’s minds…there are no “members” of Anonymous. There are simply people on the Interblag that periodically agree to do something that other people are doing. Every one of them makes an individual choice. None of them submit to a central authority or respect the decisions made by anyone else.

    To say that someone is a “spokesperson” for Anonymous is like saying that you pulled over a random driver on the hiway, asked him some questions and suddenly they’re a “spokesperson” for all hiway drivers in the world. Say what now?

    He/She/I/We/It/They are Anonymous. (But some choose not to be.)

    He/She/I/We/It/They do not forgive. (Vengeful bastards, eh?)

    He/She/I/We/It/They do not forget. (Well, except…wait…what?)

    He/She/I/We/It/They are Legion. (There are many. Or one.)

    Anyways, this sounds like a really cool idea. I think we should get all uppity about thi...LET’S GO RAID HABBO!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So sad

    Maybe they'll learn how the judicial system works?

  27. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If someone signed the document with Santa Claus' name

    Do you think the police would try and arrest said fat felon?

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