Three Alleged Anonymous Leaders Arrested in Spain

The New York Times is reporting that Spanish Law enforcement officials have arrested three individuals in connection with cyberattacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network as well as other corporations and governments around the world. The individuals are alleged to be leading members of the internet hacker collective Anonymous.

Anonymous The New York Times is reporting that Spanish Law enforcement officials have arrested three individuals in connection with cyberattacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network as well as other corporations and governments around the world. The individuals are alleged to be leading members of the internet hacker collective Anonymous.

An unnamed 31-year-old man was arrested in the city of Almeria on May 18 shortly after an attack was launched on the site of the Spanish National Electoral Commission according to the report. At the man’s apartment in Gijon, law enforcement officials discovered a server which they claim was used to launch cyberattacks against Sony’s online gaming store, two Spanish banks, an Italian energy company, and government sites in Spain, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Iran, Chile, Colombia, and New Zealand, according to the report on Friday.

There were two additional arrests in Barcelona and Valencia, but the report has no further information regarding these individuals. It is also unclear whether the alleged worked alone or, if not, how significant a role they played in the recent attacks against Sony and others.

Police said they examined millions of lines of chat logs since October and that these individuals had “the capacity to make decisions and direct attacks,” however it is unclear whether the three individuals were merely regional leaders in the group, or higher level members.

Sony spokesperson told the New York Times she had no information regarding the arrests and would not comment.

According to the New York Times, the investigation dates back as far as October 2010, when hackers overwhelmed the Spanish Ministry of Culture’s Web site in response to a new piece of legislation in that country that would hand down more sever punishments in cases of online piracy.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen alleged members of Anonymous arrested. The report cites actions taken against alleged members in the UK and the US. However, the arrests to date have often been of foot soldiers who helped the group carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Back in December, Threatpost reported that a Dutch teen was arrested in connection with DDoS attacks on Visa and Mastercard which he carried out in retaliation for actions these countries’ took against whistle-blower Web site Wikileaks. There have also been recent reports that NATO intends on taking action against Anonymous. Anonymous addressed these reports with a public statements warning the multi-nation fighting force against pursing it.

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  • Anonymous on

    how amusing that "anonomous" is seen as having "leaders" how quaint and so 20th century.

    Anonomous is everyone, anyone, anywhere, anytime. It is a concept and a philosophy, an idea and a meme. It is as organised as a sand dune and as dynamic and every changing.

    Sure, if individuals are tracked down, they're individually liaible for their actions, but anyone foolish enough to think that simply because individuals decided to do something that they are "leaders" has completely misunderstood.. Anonomous are as likely to attack "their own" as to perform any organised act against a 3rd party. Their actions become almost a force of nature - you can as much say that a particular wave rules the sea as any individual rules Anonomous.

    The most an individual is is a participant.

  • Learn to spell on

    How is it that a poster and misspell Anonymous multiple times as "anonomous" when it's right above his post ?

    How quaint that this careless poster thinks that leaders are a 20th century concept . It is , in fact , a characteristic of human society . Any organization is going to produce leaders since some will be smarter, more sociable and more aggressive than others in the organization . They'll see farther and direct the rest toward the common goals . This was true in the 20th century,  the 19 centuries before that and will continue to be true as long as humans roam in a post-apocalyptic landscape .


  • Anonymous on

    yeah, that was silly of me not ensuring I'd spelt the key term correctly, thats what happens when you have dyslexia and write something on a mobile device with no spell check.

    You miss the point about leaders. Leader historically implies someone around whom an organisation forms. While that happens with anonYmous too, it is transitory and fluid in nature. the "leader" one day will be the target of an attack the next. There is no overall organisation, no structure or hierachical decision making. If an idea appeals to a significant number of people then a group might coaless out of the mess for a while, but its much more likely to fade and die than DO anything coordinated.

    Hence my analogy with waves in an ocean. Waves are generated by tides and winds and individual water molecules respond to the immediate forces arround it, but no individual molecule causes or "leads" a wave. In the same way, individuals who contibute to anonymous are responding to the tides and winds of global and local events - which includes some more charismatic individuals who are "leaders" of a sort, but no-one person has any authority of control beyond if their ideas and suggestions appeal to the morass of everyone.

    There is a lot in common with Al-quaida (which I've almost certainly spelt wrong too) in that it is a group of individuals who have coalessed around some common values and ideas. Bin Laden was in tune with those feelings, and looked to as inspiration, but he had very little control or direction of many of the acts which individual small groups have decided to action.

    This is a challenge facing our traditional forms of organisation and unless we recognise that it is different, we'll never tackle the problems arising from them.

    AnonYmous is not a terrorist organisation, its a meme that is constantly evolving as the individual whims of the millions around the world who relate to it to some degree wax and wane. There are very few who actively engage in illegal acts, but there are millions who might decide to if a particularly appealing idea is put forward. Those ideas could come from anyone involved in anyway and become the latest cause celeb, hence why thinking of these individuals as "leaders" is entirely missing the point.

    Remove individuals around whom some have organised and the meme will just reflow and reform. The targets and actions of anonYmous would be changed, but it wont be stopped by it.The underlying meme around which everyone relates have to do with fundamental human priciples of freedom, free speech, free will, fun, intelligence and sense of purpose/belonging. The particular issues are fluid - Scientology, wikileaks etc and will change with the winds, this is different to organisations of the past which tended to be around particular issues, and with particular individuals being seen as crystalising those issues.

    So, groups would organise around who they thought would be best to lead them, who they thought best understood their desires. In those old forms of organisation, if you cut of the head, the organisation falls as the reason to fight goes with it. THIS is fundamentally different with anonYmous, hence thinking of "leaders" needs to change.

  • Jaws1 on

    Like any other insect, anonymous is nothing more than a group of bugs in need of extermination. As with all of these types of deviant personalities they are cowards, deserving nothing but contempt. You want to grt your ideas across, stand up and show your face to the world. The rest of the world has no time for your purient little games and will lose interest every time onwe of your childish games hurts them. Give up and go away, we have better things to do.

  • Anonymous on

    Jaws1 is raging.

  • Anonymous on

    As far as i can see it Anon isnt all bad. And Jaw1 is probly just raging bc of the PSN problem.  Yes it is a group of hackers but there not just hacking for fun or money.  Look into the subject before you freak out on a group of people.

  • Anonymous on

    To Learntospell,  Just because most groups do have leaders doesnt mean that all need leaders.  Anon doesnt need a leader its an organized group of Individuals, all with there own mind not following someone elses whim.

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