Government

FBI arrests alleged Anonymous members in wide-ranging raids: Are you next?

There's more than one "heat wave" going on in the U.S. right now as the FBI conducts numerous raids targeting the group Anonymous, resulting in over a dozen arrests across the country.

According to CBS News, law enforcement officials have carried out more than a dozen raids across the U.S. today, targeting alleged members of the Anonymous group, including locations in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California.

CNET News reports that at least 14 arrests have been made in the FBI-directed raids:

Details were not immediately available on the arrests, which a U.S. government official told CBS News and another unidentified source confirmed to CNET. An FBI spokesman in San Francisco said he could neither confirm nor deny the report. U.S. Department of Justice representatives did not immediately respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment.

It's been quite a day for skirmishing among those who would hack, crack, and otherwise access (and expose) information that corporations and government entities have been unsuccessful in locking down. What with Rupert Murdoch being pie-attacked during testimony before British lawmakers in regard to his knowledge of the so-called "phone hacking" scandal rocking the UK, LulzSec bouncing back with new targets in mind, and this spate of raids in the U.S., it's looking more and more like the Wild West. Talk about asymmetrical warfare.

Can a decentralized group like Anonymous and its offshoots really be stopped by good, old-fashioned physical raids by law enforcement? Or is it more about the statement -- that they're not going to stand around doing nothing as one organization after another gets picked off (or just picked on)? And what about your garden variety, white-hat hackers who could get caught up in the wide-cast net? It might be time to check on your friends and neighbors!

What's your take on the Anonymous threat and how law enforcement is meeting the challenge?

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About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

69 comments
dadavis5th
dadavis5th

The real victims are those that are hacked, countless business loss from lost data and real people whose financials are stolen by hackers. Just because some think it is a trivial matter to "just see if it can be done" it never stops there. This blog reads like freedom is free. Freedom does not exist without fair and equitable boundaries that protect the average citizen. And BTW for all you wining about the FBI, every week they post major busts of fraud, corrupt police, corrupt judges and politicians, major drugs cases etc. goto www.fbi.gov for a reality check if you care to be objective.

StoneSatellite
StoneSatellite

Oh but yes. Why I'm foiling my windows as I type........ are you?

jimt007
jimt007

The war against hackers has to start somewhere, however, it's not that easy. The problem is not that we can't find and punish hackers in the U.S. The problem is, there are other countries that don't have the same incentive, and won't seek out or punish these criminals. Until we have a direct way to "fight back" we are going to be constantly on the defensive. It's like if a game of soccer consisted only of free shots from one team to the goalie of another team. The goalie has no way to "win" the best they can do is tie. We have to continue to do what we can, even if it is barely enough to make a dent. One hopes that eventually we will have a real method of "fighting" back.

dayen
dayen

It not the guys they catch who worrie me it the one who know how to run in stealth mode the one who are on their servers for two years, we are lossing the cyber war the PR on this was bad last week they had to do somthing I pray they have the right people we don't need a wich hunt and as for bad arrests there are too many of them there was one in Lansing Michigan they convicted him and knew he didn't do it he has been release, there are more. I am a white Hat

golanu7
golanu7

may i ROFL on the story? After all, Clarise, it's the f*... F.B.I.! No need to go after the bigger fish, you know, these foreign hackers sponsored by governments that are our allies and predate on DOD, stealing some serious secrets... our backyard teenagers will do (and funny thing, they just try to expose our lapsuses!) Way to go FBI!

digital riverrat
digital riverrat

How about they go after the real criminals of this country and the world? People like Rupert Murdoch and his son and the Koch brothers? Those are 4 people that have done more damage to this world and country than Anonymous would ever dream of doing.

jack
jack

All people are naturally born free. It is the shackles of government that are put upon us at birth that keep us from living free - all this supposedly for our own good. We (the USA) live under one of the most authoritarian governments in the world. Sure we are free to bitch about it all we want - as long as we don't actually change anything. When change starts to happen the bulldogs come out and the change drags to a halt. We incarcerate more people than China - and they have five times our population. Whenever I hear someone say freedom isn't free, I know right away I'm talking with a dumb shit nitwit who can only spout the drivel fed to him by his masters and is incapable of thinking for himself. Anonymous doesn't have all the answers and maybe not everything they do is entirely productive but they have organized around true patriotic principles. Our government has shed it's system of checks and balances. We need groups like anonymous who can restore some accountability to the system.

DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

I already know you can't have freedom for free, but don't forget there are those who would love to do away with those boundaries that are there to protect the innocent because it's an inconvenience to their agendas, witch-hunts, and evidence collection the legal way.

radleym
radleym

I have never heard about Anonymous stealing from anybody. They are a political activist group who go after dictatorships and human rights violators - although I.am aware of others claiming to be the Anonymous group causing problems for businesses and individuals. In this case the FBI is protecting large corporate interests that have been attacked on the internet for humanitarian grounds.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The Feds pump narco-gas into your A/C intake. That's why so many air conditioners have been damaged lately. No one really wants the copper; that's just the excuse the Justice Dept. uses to cover their operatives installing gas cylinders in the system. That's also why churches are frequent targets: so they can gas large numbers of religious conservatives at one time. Yeah, that's it...

DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

that such tactics are actually effective AND they only go and get the actual crims and others learn... otherwise all ya got is the same old story as the war on drugs and the war on piracy.... a losing battle because they fail to really win, except against the simpletons, those without money for a good enough defense attorney.

dhays
dhays

lossing--losing. wich--witch. release--released. worrie--worry. it the one--it is the ones. somthing--something. I don't care what color your hat is, it makes no difference to me.

anarchist2
anarchist2

it's the russian malware kings that went off the air in russia and reemerged in china and are now working together that are the ones to go after!!

dhays
dhays

How does predate fit in here? do you suppose you meant prey? What is lapsuses? do you mean lapse? Mulder9927: it is lose not loose while you are using a dictionary look it up, you missed a w on what hat has no bearing. Proof read your postings! I try to catch my mistypings, before I let it go, and if I see a mistake afterwards, I edit to correct. As for the hackers, it is not honest to break into someone else's website and "wreak havoc", it could be called "breaking and entering" in the real world. Try having some "good honest fun" by breaking into your neighbor's house and wreaking havoc, you could get yourself killed, all for having fun! The hackers by definition are doing something they should not be doing and deserve all they get when the FBI comes knocking. This type of stuff happens because people get the idea that the end justifies the means, just like the other hackers who stole a bunch of classified matrerial, diplomatic stuff and then posted it publicly. Maybe thet stuff they broke into and stole should have been made public, but they went about it wrong.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The FBI has no jurisdiction outside the US. None in foreign countries, and so far Murdock hasn't been accused of anything in the US.

bsit
bsit

The GFC has just about detroyed the world and is still bringing countries down and destroying peoples lives and businesses. Yet no one has been brought to account and many have been rewarded by bonuses taken from tax payers. These criminals have even been protected by questionable laws and policies. These criminals could even be seen as traitors given the damage they have done to their own countries. But huge resources are spent chasing petty crime and beating up their importance. Hmmmm...!!

StoneSatellite
StoneSatellite

We focus on who this is really about. I realize that you dream about the David and Goliath scenario as perhaps you were bullied as a child. Don't fret lad, just think hope and change.

merlyn
merlyn

like George Soros

dhays
dhays

There are legal ways to combat someone you don't agree with, this internet hacking is not legal, causes multiple problems, raises the cost of doing business, making you and me pay more for their products, I don't appreciate that. A corporation is made up of people, and people do sometimes do things that are not in the best interest of the company or you and me. That doesn't make it right, it happens. Go after the wrong doer, take out a full page ad in the local newspaper, let the world know how you feel.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I could write an entire blog just on this - but you're painting very simple black and white philosophies here. Your assumption is clear. "These large corporations are corrupt, abusive and protected by the status quo power structure of Governments, politicians and lawmakers, and their enforcement goons. Going through formal channels to challenge these cabals is ineffective, and an underground collective is the only way to affect meaningful change". Which may not be untrue. At the same time, the reverse perspective is, "Anonymous and Lulzsec represent the eroision of due-process, undermine the foundations of law and order in our society, and are a dangerous threat to global security and stability. They operate as a star-chamber of judge, jury and executioner with no checks and balances and with huge potential to abuse the power they wield - which they arguably have exercised without wisdom or restraint". I don't think THAT perspective is necessarily untrue, either. I think any student of history can point out numerous cases where the liberators from widespread oppression turned out to be a cure worse than the original problem. Ask yourself this - if the legitimate authorities and power-structure and society operated using the policies and techniques that Anonymous and Lulzsec uses - would you support their cause then? Two examples come readily to mind: The girl in Russia throwing puppies into a river while talking and smiling with someone filming it. Anonymous tracked this rural Russian girl down and exposed her information globally. The knee-jerk reaction might be to celebrate this kind of "justice" - but the truth is - the girl was being judged globally for something that is acceptable community standard where she lived - which is inherently *wrong* for society to do. I shouldn't be judging practices in a rural Russian community or in an African tribe or in East Los Angles. I can't possibly know all the factors that are in play in these places that are so much different than the place I live. The other example was the woman who auctioned her kids BeyBlade tops on eBay because the kids destroyed a tub with them. Again, Anonymous discovered all of her information and began a campaign to harrass and expose the woman on a global scale. The trivial event disrupted her entire life - leading to her dropping all of her accounts after receiving numerous death-threats. In a recent blog Chad Perrin suggested/implied that maybe in the world of Anonymous and Lulzsec, people should be more polite online, and not cross people who support FOSS (!) unless they want to become targets for Anonymous and Lulzsec activities. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/how-do-you-protect-yourself-from-hacktivist-groups/5715 (Here is the paragraph from Chad's blog) "The long and the short of it appears to be that as long as there are such egregious cases of governmental and corporate organizations mistreating people (or at least appearing to do so), the businesses that do not attempt to censor, intimidate, or lie to people; that care about their customers security and privacy and do their best to protect them; and that, broadly speaking, do not try to control the movements of people or data, or make arrogant statements about the impervious state of their IT security, are probably fairly safe from these groups. Those prone to saying no to governmental requests that do not come with warrants, who advocate for transparency, and who support community building initiatives such as open source software development are probably even safer." Perhaps he is right - but in a free society, we should feel relatively safe to make questionable parenting decisions, or to dispose of unwanted animals in a way that is consistent with the community standards of where we live, or write a blog that claims Linux sucks - without being afraid that we'll be lynched in public for doing so. It isn't so much a matter of being forced to agree with POPULAR opinion - it is potentially being forced to agree with UNPOPULAR opinion - by threat of public humilation and threat. Which doesn't mean that I don't think that Sony isn't a dispicable corproation that consistently engages in questionable business practices - or that they didn't maybe have it coming. It just means, I'm guarded aganist calling those who attacked Sony "heros", because I'm not certain yet that the future they promise is any better than one where Sony, Apple, the RIAA and MPAA call all the shots. Chad finishes his blog mentioned above saying, "Put another way, if you wonder whether you are a likely target of groups like Anonymous and LulzSec, you might ask whether you are in fact being an [censored] or dealing with [censored]s." I'd say that it is largely a matter of perspective who the biggest [censored] is in any given situation. I think Bill Maher is one of the biggest [censored]s on the planet - with Al Franken running a close second. Many other people would think that this makes me a giant [censored], and would claim that Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck are far bigger [censored]s than Bill or Al. If one side or the other suddenly felt that they had to stop defending their perspective - well, the group that was stifling that free speech would be the biggest [censored]s of all, in my humble opinion. And how long will it take until these groups start operating on the basis of political hacktivism to muzzle the opinions of those they disagree with? That isn't liberty, that isn't democracy. That is a bleak, dismal future of political psychological terrorism.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

Must be 'the opiate of the People'............ ;)

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

...of religious conservatives? How about little old ladies, they getting around to that yet? :D

dhays
dhays

We will always have dishonest people. Recently here in OKC a 16 year old was trying to rob a pharmacy and was killed by the pharamcist, If he had been minding his own business he would still be alive today. A month later some kids were breaking into homes and a homeowner shot them, didn't kill them. People just don't think, have no morals, don't think they will get caught! This type of situation is the same. If it is kids, they don't think ahead of time about the consequences of their actions. If they are older adults, then it is done with real intention to harm and definitely should be made to pay for their actions, and not necessarily be paid to do it for someone who is "on the right side"

Muttz
Muttz

This drives me crazy too. It's sad, but these days I feel like I immediately identify myself as an old person because I can spell. :)

bsit
bsit

You made comment on the guy's spelling and lack of editing, then you go and spell "the" as "thet". Practice what you preach. I find US education is not at a very high standard. So many of you use "then" for "than" and vice versa, and many simply misspell many words. Then there is the grammar. I think the FBI would have trouble deciphering written communications, unless they operate at the same level! As for Murdoch he owns about 60% of the media here and no one but the politicians and right wing big business trust him even though he used to be one of us. Someone with that much power must be a suspect if only because Power Corrupts, like Dicky Cheney and Halliburton and many, many others. The greater the Power the greater the Corruption. Hacking would simply come naturally as they would feel protected by their influence and high level connections. Look how Obama folded to corporate pressure once in office, and after such a wonderful speech too.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

or its members IS a crime for a US citizen (Murdoch purchased a US citizenship some time ago). You can engage in crime abroad and still be criminally liable for it here. Stay tuned; it looks like that's where this is going........

JamesRL
JamesRL

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14162545 And yes, the FBI doesn't have the jurisdiction to make arrests in other countries, but they regularly do investigations in Canada, without informing Canadian authorities. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/10/05/fbi-border.html The FBI have offices in the US Embassy in Ottawa, also sub offices in Toronto and Vancouver, but in the story agents from border towns cross over regularly. We assume that if they need an arrest, they call on local forces.

patg00
patg00

Yet. FCPA may be used as Newscorp is a US company.

ppg
ppg

Maybe the reason Murdoch hasn't been accused (and I think the word is charged - he has been accused of plenty) of anything is because the FBI is spending its resources chasing nuisance hackers rather than than companies which are known to have employees that hack for profit.

pgit
pgit

The FBI has no jurisdiction outside the US ...and CIA is supposed to have no business withing the United States. Since day one these two agencies, most federal agencies no doubt, have ignored such limitation. It's not blatant, in the public eye, but you can find mainstream reports mentioning FBI working abroad from time to time.

dhays
dhays

Like Moveon.org! They control the unions Just look at AFGE's site, when you leave a comment it has to be approved by moveon.org before it will be posted or probably even read.

anarchist2
anarchist2

like Dicky Cheney of Haliburton?

ToadWiz
ToadWiz

I agree with you. And while we are discussing legality, where are the lawyers who are always trying to convince us how useful they are to society? I can think of several companies that need suing. Any lawyers out there interested in some pro bono? I didn't think so.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Neither did the spouses and significant others of Arizona law enforcement officers, for that matter. I suppose that just reinforces my point - that the decision making process is in the arbitrary control of a shadow group who is making unilateral decisions based on their own moral compass. They seem to either not care about collateral damage - or figure that if you're on board, you're fair game. And there is the rub. If you're a member of Sony's online community, you're not thinking about Sony's unethical business practices. You're thinking of online gameplay with other Final Fantasy enthusiasts. I make decisions all the time based on the immediate benefit to me - not on the further implications of how my purchases may fuel the further unethical behaviors of Microsoft, or Apple, or Purina or Nike. As I've said elsewhere, I'm not really willing to commit to one perspective or the other in a public forum. It is clear that it is very hard to tell who the good guys are, in relation to this issue, though.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That way, I could see who wrote a novel without having to scroll down, and better judge whether it's going to be worth reading. It was, with the exception of this quibble: "I don't think that Sony ... didn't maybe have it coming." Maybe they did, but PlayStation users certainly didn't.

mpukey
mpukey

"I could write an entire blog just on this" I think you just did! This is a very well thought out rebuttal. I appreciate your taking the time to say what I felt better than I could say it.

dcolbert
dcolbert

And there we go... I accidently wrote the entire article anyhow. Probably should have done this as a separate rebuttal to the original post.

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

Please folks, realize that these forums are available to anybody with an internet connection. Some of the people on here, surprise surprise, may not be native English speakers or spellers. Yeah, spelling and grammar bug me sometimes, but it's much easier to give the benefit of the doubt rather than getting your panties in a bunch.

dhays
dhays

I call myself a dyslexic typer, I turn letters around (hte for the for instance) I suppose it is because of the way I hold my hands at the keyboard. I never mastered the not looking at the keyboard as I type skill, so that is my excuse, so I try to proofread everything I do and end up missing something as was pointed out earlier. I also fat finger words which causes more letters than I should have in a word. "somethiong" for example. That is why I am a physics major playing as an engineer, not a typist!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

There's a million other reasons why a person may not be able to spell as well as you'd like. If you can spell, then you can also learn to decipher what another is writing, if most of the parts are there. Dayen has most of the parts.

hwwgandolf
hwwgandolf

you mean the education brought to you by the leftist in this great country of U.S.S.A

dhays
dhays

My misspelling is usually due to mistyping, ends up looking the same, though, doesn't it? I missed it in my proofreading. I daresay most do not proofread their articles or postings or there would be a lot less misunderstanding of what was being said.

dayen
dayen

you are confusing the FBI with the NSA the CIA is not suppose to do covert opt in the US NSA only in US FBI both

mpukey
mpukey

The FBI has a really good reputation around the world. They get ASKED to come perform training, and probably assist sometimes, but they don't initialize an investigation. They need a 'fig leaf' when working overseas, Interpol or 'working with Scotland yard' kind of thing.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

that's different from expecting; nay, demanding they do so as regular operations.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

In the case of Cheney/Halliburton, the company WAS the government. That put a little perspective on being paid to rebuild what they blow up.....

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I gave negative votes to most posts in this thread, because they're about as far off topic as possible. riverrat's post is an attempt to divert the conversation to what he wants to talk about and has nothing to do with those who violate cybersecurity. As to a company that gets paid to rebuild what it blows up, in this case it's the same customer asking it do do both jobs. The fault doesn't lie with a company doing what it's paid to do. The fault lies with the government writing the contracts and checks.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

Why would this get negative votes? Even the republicans I know can see the clear conflict of interest created by these war-profiteers. A company that gets paid to bomb a building and then rebuild it? Sounds like a self perpetuating business plan.

pgit
pgit

If I were "anonymous" I'd offer to plead guilty just as soon the CEOs of the military-industrial-government war profiteers do. Especially the Wall Street Bankster crowd. No justice without total justice.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

And Haliburton most defiantly deserves to be hit hard and heavy for the things that they are responsible for doing. Col