Alleged Anonymous members arrested in hacker attacks
The Justice Department said 16 individuals across the country have been arrested, all but two of whom are believed to be members of the Internet "hacktivist" group Anonymous. Federal officials also said police in Britain and the Netherlands arrested five more individuals on charges of hacking into computers.
After executing several raids around the U.S. early Tuesday morning, the FBI arrested 14 individuals who were allegedly behind a denial of service attack on PayPal Inc. late last year. Arrests were made in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio.
Anonymous claimed to have attacked PayPal in December as part of "Operation Avenge Assange," the FBI said, after the e-commerce company suspended the account of the whistle-blower organization WikiLeaks when it began releasing classified information to the public.
The FBI released the names and online aliases of those arrested, except for one. The individuals arrested are Christopher Wayne Cooper, 23, aka "Anthrophobic;" Joshua John Covelli, 26, aka “Absolem” and “Toxic;” Keith Wilson Downey, 26; Mercedes Renee Haefer, 20, aka “No” and “MMMM;” Donald Husband, 29, aka “Ananon;” Vincent Charles Kershaw, 27, aka “Trivette,” “Triv” and “Reaper;” Ethan Miles, 33; James C. Murphy, 36; Drew Alan Phillips, 26, aka “Drew010;” Jeffrey Puglisi, 28, aka “Jeffer,” “Jefferp” and “Ji;” Daniel Sullivan, 22; Tracy Ann Valenzuela, 42; and Christopher Quang Vo, 22.
Separately in New Jersey, the FBI said it arrested Lance Moore, 21, who it said may have either worked for or aided the hacker group LulzSec last month. The individual is believed to have stolen information belonging to AT&T Inc. valued at more than $5,000, according to a court document released by the FBI. The stolen information was later published by the hacker group, the FBI said in a news release.
The FBI also said Scott Matthew Arciszewski, 21, was arrested in Orlando, Fla. Arciszewski is suspected of hacking the Tamp Bay Infragard website, which is affiliated with the FBI.
Five more hackers were arrested in Europe. The FBI worked with the British Metropolitan Police Service to arrest another individual and with the Dutch National Police Agency to arrest four others.
-- Salvador Rodriguez