back to article Feds arrest 16 in Anonymous hack probe

Federal officials arrested 16 people accused of carrying out computer crimes that damaged or breached protected systems, including a December attack organized by the Anonymous hacker collective on PayPal that caused numerous service disruptions. Fourteen suspects from 10 states were accused of participating in “Operation Avenge …


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  1. Mark 65 Silver badge


    ...these are the extremely low hanging fruit - the puppets at the end of the strings - or these people take absolutely no precautions with regards their own security whilst preaching to others.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree...

      They should have listened to Wise Beard Man.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        DDoS is an offence! It is illegal! Should you participate in this you may find that the local police will take you away, and lock you up possibly for a very long period of time. Worst of all in the US you may find yourself incarcerated with a man called Bubba …….

        Aside from being illegal, it is not either particularly big, or clever. A trained chimp could probably carry out a DDoS attack on a web site.

  2. Turtle

    "Anonymous" Ampersand "Anonymity".

    It appears "Anonymous" is not really all *that* "anonymous".

    I don't know about anyone else, but I was surprised to see that the arrested participants were adults (from a legal point of view, anyway.)

    It will be interesting to see how many will offer to roll on their comrades, and if they have even have anything of value to tell.

    1. Bill Neal


      Anthrophobic, Toxic, etc.

      If they use an alias, they are not Anons.

      They are wannabes who ran L.O.I.C. from home like idiots, instead of using a botnet or public wifi hotspot. I'm shocked the feds weren't sent to round up more. Do you think it only took this many people to DDoS MC & Visa? It is obvious they (fbi) are just trying to make an example to discourage this kind of activity. Fools should be discouraged from doing things they have no skill in.

      1. Gaz Jay

        They may be adults in the eyes of the law....

        ...but they are really just immature children playing games.

        I mean just look at the "aliases" that they use!

        These people have no loyalty to each other, no real agenda other than wanting to be part of an accepting group. Most of them are probably just teenagers with some chip on their shoulders like most teenagers have.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I doubt they will know too much.

      The article seems to imply they were traced by their use of LOIC. Probably at home on their own computer. It looks a lot like they then had a trace set up on their line (As the press release gives handles as well as real namesl)

      Sadly, i suspect they actually believed all the ignorant press that they were anonymous and untouchable.

      I suspect the real hackers in Anonymous wont be caught in such a manner, as it seems likely *they* know what they are doing.

      These arrests are nothing more than a warning.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        "I suspect the real hackers in Anonymous wont be caught in such a manner, as it seems likely *they* know what they are doing."

        But we can all keep our fingers crossed and hope that they do get caught.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    So they have arrested 16 people who may or may not be members of anonymous.

    This is not news, when they CONVICT someone of being a member of anonymous and engaging in illegal acts then we can start harping on about "It appears "Anonymous" is not really all *that* "anonymous".

    Innocent until proven guilty people; not innocent until arrested.

    1. Daniel 4

      Even an indictment would be nice...

      But yes, at least a little presumption of innocence would be good. It's not like these individuals (the people arrested, not the nameless faces on the far end of a computer that they are accused of being) are people we have long histories about, either - so we really are just taking the FBI at their word right now, something I'm not that comfortable doing. Of course, even should they be convicted, there is a bit of a difference between running LOIC on a single Anon "raid" than being anything more than an edge, bit player. It's yet to be seen if the FBI even managed to catch one person worth doing anything more than just using as an example (not that they will hesitate at that, naturally).


    2. Turtle

      Thanks for the platitude!

      You know, there seems always to be some ignoramus who likes to say "Innocent until proven guilty" while not even knowing that the principle only applies to juries: a *jury* is not allowed to start with a presumption of guilt, or to presume that arrest implies guilt.

      Secondly, a person is *guilty* of a crime, or any action, if the DID the action. Whether they will be found guilty in a court of law, and what that means, is a different matter entirely. (Maybe you can find someone to explain to you, in suitably simple terms, the concept of "criminal responsibility": you might learn that a person can be found both to have committed an action, and yet be "not guilty" of it cf. M'Naghten Rules, various concepts relating to diminished capacity, etc etc etc.)

      But, at any rate, since *I* am not serving on a jury, and since *I* have "freedom of speech" guaranteed to me by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, *I* can, therefore, presume *anything* I damn well please, and say so whenever I damn well please, paying no mind to an ignoramus with a platitude.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "since *I* am not serving on a jury,"

        With your warped ideas on justice I sincerely hope it stays that way.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You missed the point

        Aside from the scary notions of justice you have you missed the point.

        The FBI claim they have arrested 16 members of Anonymous.

        For all we know hoovered 16 homeless people off the street and claimed they are members of anonymous.

        Not until a conviction has been made can we say with any certainty that "Yes, these people were members of anonymous", until then they are SUSPECTS (As in suspected, not sure, cannot be 100% certain) and even then, as has been mentioned elsewhere these were probably idiots running LOIC rather than the serious hackers.

        1. Turtle

          A fact unknown to some people here. . . .

          "For all we know hoovered 16 homeless people off the street and claimed they are members of anonymous."

          You, along with some other people here, might not know this, but in order to obtain an arrest warrant, the FBI or any other law enforcement agency must to apply to a judge for one, and show "probable cause". An "arrest warrant" is based, therefore, on an assumption of guilt.

          As for my "scary notions of justice", that's as may be, but it *is* in accordance with the way the law operates.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            OMG -- Someone even more clueless that Titus

            "An "arrest warrant" is based, therefore, on an assumption of guilt."

            No, an arrest warrant is based on "sufficient evidence" presented to a judge that the prosecution can make some kind of a case against the subject of the warrant, NOT an assumption of guilt. "Sufficient evidence" is in quotes, because what constitutes sufficiency is purely in the eyes of the judge. (In some places, this sufficient evidence is not even needed; a wink and a nod from the prosecutor's office at the right jurist is all that is necessary).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I heard a rumour that Turtle uses that name because of his weird fetish.

        Now, Turtle, do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing that nobody is going to just take my word for it?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother


      @ac 03:01 GMT

      'Innocent until proven guilty people; not innocent until arrested.'

      Unless, not until, unless. You've been eating too much NewLabLegislation. I prescribe some EUHR therapy for you.

  4. James Woods


    Gee it came out of San Jose; where is paypal located?

    I love how it says the machines were hit with more traffic than they were setup to handle.

    What about the whole utube scandal. I don't recall universal tube and rubber having any FBI raids done. In those events universal tube and rubbers servers were overloaded with more traffic than they were configured to handle. Looking back on that ordeal one would have to assume that was staged by youtube to get the domain or at least bring attention to youtube.

    Why were no ISPS indicted in this? Didn't the the ISPS provide the platform for this all to happen? Didn't the ISPs work with the FBI to identify these people?

    Comcast, Verizon, and others are admitting they know what people are doing with their internet connections. So if they all know what people are doing why aren't they being held accountable. Is the FBI going to raid comcast, verizon, and other executives homes?

    The FBI, ATF, DOJ, etc.. are running guns to Mexico that are killing US cops. The boarders are wide open.

    ICE is shutting down domain names.

    I will sleep better at night knowing the FBI is raiding the homes of college students.

  5. Chris 228

    Time to pay the piper

    It looks like the world needs to build more prisons with internet crime escalating all the time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      As Cyber terrorists FBI could just declare them enemy combatants and freight them to Guantanamo? Save a bob or two on new Prisons?

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Ru


        These people are clearly too dumb to protect their own identities and hide their tracks. What on earth makes you think they'll have anything useful to 'give up' to the authorities? They're ignorant and incompetent, and some of the more high profile 'anonymous' attacks were anything but.

    3. Thomas 18

      Internet prison

      I recommend convicted internet criminals must log in 3 times a day and click the "I repent" tickbox. And when they are out and about on the web they must wear an electronic tracking addon.

  6. David Hicks
    Big Brother

    In an FBI interrogation room at this very moment...

    It seems that you've been living two lives.

    In one life, you're Joshua J. Covelli, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number, pay your taxes, and you... help your landlady carry out her garbage.

    The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker alias "Toxic" and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not.

    (hey, el reg - we need an Agent Smith icon)

  7. Anonymous Coward


    A bit like the war on drugs. They arrest a few crack dealers, but the mafia at the top continue with impunity.

    Please note that I am not suggesting that computer misuse is in any way equivalent in seriousness to drug dealing...

  8. jake Silver badge

    As I've said ...

    ... the anonytwats are in WAY over their heads. Idiots.

    And what's with a 42 year old woman hanging out with young twenties boys? Is she really so desperate for companionship that she enjoys anti-social college(age) kids? I feel really, really sorry for her. Poor muppet.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Your sympathy may be misplaced she is probably a Cougar..... craving the flesh, odd smells and zits of the teenage hacking comm.... Ooops just spotted the logical fallacy in that theory, of course they are all anonymous. Mind they are starting a social network site.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lessons to be learned

    Perhaps some hackers will learn from these arrests, if not their is certainly a cell waiting for them.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not hackers...

      ...script "kiddies".

      they have no skills / sense, especially if they brag about it on twitter.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Here's a lesson.

      --Perhaps some hackers will learn from these arrests, if not their is certainly a cell waiting for them.

      ++Perhaps some hackers will learn from these arrests, if not there is certainly a cell waiting for them.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...should have stuck with the good fight IMHO (going after dangerous cults, exposing animal abusers etc). Standing up for Assange (or McKinnon or...) could have been done with similar japes that cause disruption, but break no laws.

    Heck, I will even support their cracking to an extent (under the premise of committing a small crime to prevent a greater one - generally legal, at least in the UK/Eire) but DDoS? Really?

    We do need people to stand-up against the increasing number of corporate and government abuses of process; for a time I thought Anonymous was one such group. However it seems that some sections of it have begun to lose their way.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Anon...

      Same old......

      Trouble is that for every hacktivist with a conscience and a sense of humour there are dozens of small-minded agitprop berks who just want to kick windows in....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        even the dozens of small-minded agitprop berks aren't the real problem. The real problem is that behind those DoS-MAB, there are some truly tyrannical people who want to put the rest of us under their iron fists.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Slightly wrong

    "Scott Matthew Arciszewski, a 21-year-old student at the University of Central Florida, illegally accessed a website operated by the FBI-affiliated Infragard, a criminal complaint filed last week in Tampa alleged. He then uploaded three files he named “aspydrv.asp;jpg” – and, yes, the indictment includes that semicolon in the filename – which “caused damage to the server by impairing the integrity of the server,”

    The site was not accessed illegally AND THEN files uploaded. The site used flawed software that allowed file uploading which blocks ASP files being uploaded and is got around by appending the jpg prefix at the end. The ASP file uploaded was an ASP shell that gave them the access to everything else.

    The integrity of the server was already impaired from the hole in the software the site admin installed.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Logic flaw

      The fact the website had a flaw it its security does not mean what he did was legal.

      If you leave your keys in your car, with the engine running, it still is illegal for me to drive off with it.

      But then you knew that and you're just looking for something to justify his actions, aren't you?

      This is all about who you sympathize with, not the legality of the actions taken.

  12. Dante


    Why didn't they get a days notice of their arrest like Couston and Brooks?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Two reasons

      1) The UK does not take white-collar crime seriously (look at the pathetic sentences hand out to those who commit money laundering, fraud or make false expense claims)

      2) These 16 were not rich and well connected.

      There is one set of laws for us and another set for our betters. It's time we learnt our place.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The unnamed person is probably the 13 year old son of the Redditor whose post is front page this morning.

  14. Pete B

    The Met at it?

    "...Tuesday's arrests coincided with the arrests of one person in the UK's Metropolitan Police Service..."

    Should that be *by* the UK's Metropolitan Police Service, or are there more bad apples in the Met than the NOTW debacle indicate. We should be told!

  15. Eponymous Cowherd

    16" hack probe?


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