Following the arrest of 25 suspected members of the Anonymous hacking collective in Europe and South America, the INTERPOL website went offline. Coincidence? I don't think so. After all, Anonymous has already proven it isn't scared, or indeed incapable. of taking down law enforcement sites. Earlier in the month it managed to take the CIA website offline and even managed to listen in to a private conference call between FBI agents and Scotland Yard detectives who were discussing how to deal with Anonymous hacking attacks amongst other things. The fact that the INTERPOL site went down within hours of INTERPOL announcement concerning the arrests, and stayed down most of Tuesday, would seem to suggest that Anonymous were successful in pwning yet another law enforcement site. Indeed, Anonymous member accounts on Twitter soon claimed responsibility for the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
INTERPOL unleashed Operation Unmask , a reference to the V for Vendetta 'Guy Fawkes' mask associated with the Anonymous collective as well as the Occupy movement, across Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Spain in the middle of February. This culminated in the arrest of 25 suspected Anonymous members aged between 17 and 40, the seizure of more than 250 bits of hardware including computers and mobile phones, as well as credit cards and cash from the hackers at 40 different locations within 15 cities in total.
"This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity, no matter where it originates or where it is targeted" said Bernd Rossbach, Acting INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services.
I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .