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.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

See I was also reading on center SNIPPED and it was talking about an arrest. Kind of scary; I am really not for vigilante groups at all.