FBI Raids "Anonymous" Hackers Over Wikileaks-Related DDOS Attacks

The FBI explains the 40 search warrants it executed yesterday pertaining to "Anonymous", a group of hackers that engaged in Denial of Service (DDOS)attacks on MasterCard, Visa, Paypal and Amazon as retaliation for cutting off Wikileaks.

No one was arrested in the U.S. but the offenses, if charged, carry up to ten years in prison. The FBI says:

The FBI also is reminding the public that facilitating or conducting a DDoS attack is illegal, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, as well as exposing participants to significant civil liability.

The five people arrested in the U.K. after warrants were executed there have been released on bail. Anonymous issued this letter in response to the U.K. arrests, calling them a "Declaration of War." [More...]

The hackers are online discussing the raids. One person who was raided seemed astonished the guns the FBI pointed at him were real. (Image of post here.)


me in 1 cop car, gf in other car.

took 3.5 hrs, all electronic devices taken including 3 computers. said nearly nothing. finally left.

That's pretty funny. Did he think the FBI would use toy guns? On a more serious note, here's a list of the items sought to be seized according to one warrant.

How did they get to Anonymous? Probably through the search warrant served last month on Tailor Made Services.

Anonymity on the internet is a myth.

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    Why people who engage in an activity (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 09:16:16 AM EST
    to shut down a financial service that allows millions of businesses to operate and sell products to millions of people are surprised when the police/FBI arrest them I do not know.

    Because the Leading Republican Voice... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 08:24:30 AM EST
    ...  at TL assumes that because the FBI went in with guns blazing they are the the culprits and they are guilty.

    I'm sure it never occurred to jim that these might not be the perpetrators and if indeed they are innocent, they, like me, would be pretty damn  surprised if the FBI showed up, guns blazing, at my place.


    It;'s that quaint antiquated... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:36:17 AM EST
    notion of liberty and justice for all having a place at the table with "business"...I know, madness, but some people still hold these notions.  

    Fear not, they'll all be rounded up eventually, like the cattle they are.


    Pass the bong, man. (none / 0) (#13)
    by jpe on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:25:21 AM EST
    Denial (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Lora on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 03:16:01 PM EST
    Hmmm.  If a Denial of Service attack carries up to 10 years in prison, shouldn't a Denial of Access as in the ability to of ISP's to favor some websites over others, or even restrict or deny access altogether, be illegal too and carry a prison sentence of some kind?

    Just sayin'.

    jeralyn (none / 0) (#1)
    by jharp on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 11:13:50 PM EST
    So it seems to me after reading this very fascinating post that using "hackers" in your title isn't really the right term.

    Is that right?

    Thanks to anyone who responds and it is a really fascinating subject. And a really good post. 10 years? Wow.

    out of curiousity, did the FBI provide a cite (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 09:33:00 AM EST
    for the law they assert "anonymous" violated? as i understand it, a DDOS does no actual damage to the site. it's more in the nature of a demonstration, held in front of the entity's business, making it difficult for customers to enter. not illegal (yet) in this country.

    since these sites intentionally open themselves up to the public, and "anonymous" simply walks through that door, what law has been broken?

    or, is the FBI simply making this up as they go along?

    From the link (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 10:06:18 AM EST
    These distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) are facilitated by software tools designed to damage a computer network's ability to function by flooding it with useless commands and information, thus denying service to legitimate users

    It seems to me that demonstrating in front of a business does not prevent people from entering. A DDoS attack is designed to shut the business down.

    Big difference.


    In this case, I see little difference. (none / 0) (#5)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 11:06:12 AM EST
    Both are attempts to disrupt commerce, the DDoS attack isn't permanent.

    No robbery is (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 12:00:51 PM EST
    permanent.... and that is what we have.

    We view the definiton of (none / 0) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 12:18:06 PM EST
    robbery very differently. But that's what makes the world go 'round, I suppose.

    A protest isn't supposed to disrupt commerce, (none / 0) (#12)
    by jpe on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:24:59 AM EST
    it's supposed to publicize a message.  When protesters do block entrances (like w/ abortion clinic protesters), laws are passed to prevent that sort of douchebaggery.

    What better way... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 09:04:24 AM EST
    to publicize the dirty being done to Wikileaks by US Govt. lapdog financial transaction outfits than by disrupting commerce?  

    It's as old as Jesus, who disrupted commerce to protest blasphemy.


    You Are Wrong (none / 0) (#20)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 09:12:24 AM EST
    A protest is suppose to disrupt commerce.

    People say they aren't going to buy product X unless they stop advertising on Beck's show or that new MTV teen show.

    They do it because all corporations love money, and by boycotting (protesting) their products disrupts that cash flow (commerce).


    The federal compute fraud statute (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peter G on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 02:39:43 PM EST
    18 USC 1030, is pretty complex.  On a first quick read of subsection (b) (penalties), it looks to me like a ten-year sentence can apply for a second conviction but not a first.  Check out the definitions of "protected computer," "damage" and "loss" in subsection (e) to see how a DDoS may be covered by subsection (a)(5)(C) (unauthorized access with intent to cause damage and loss) or (a)(7) (extortion).

    That's a good question... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:38:39 AM EST
    the brick and mortar equivalent is still legal, I think...walking up to a teller and bombarding them with 100 questions till the line snakes around the block...ya can do that right?

    Hypocrites (none / 0) (#14)
    by diogenes on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 08:18:41 PM EST
    After about ten questions the bank will eject you and if you don't go you get arrested for trespassing at the least.  Anonymous hackers stay as long as they want.
    If this were about anonymous antiabortion hackers targeting Planned Parenthood's computers or anonymous Republican hackers targeting Democratic computers would everyone here be so eager to defend them?

    I wouldn't... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 08:31:14 AM EST
    because I like what Wikileaks does...me no likey what anti-choicers and the GOP do.

    I know it ain't righteous, but sometimes you gotta do the wrong thing for the right reasons...the law gives you no other play.  This aggression against Wikileaks cannot stand man, I hope the hacker community gives the moneychangers fits...they've earned it by playing the US Government mercenary.


    Big Assumption (none / 0) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 09:05:49 AM EST
    Generally speaking, hackers aren't conservatives, the nature of conservatism is keeping the status quo, or even turning back the clock to say the 50's or 60's.

    I'm not saying they are liberals, but they are definitely progressives, so I wouldn't break a sweat arguing that some conservative mastermind is going to hack PP on their TRS-80.

    Have you ever seen the people who protest Planned Parenthood, I would be shocked if they could do anything more than forward their basic anti-abortion emails.  Not exactly a Brain Trust.

    And as far as R's hacking D's computers, come on that's too easy, they just burglarize the Watergate hotel.


    Dumb Question (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 08:49:44 AM EST
    Why is the acronym of Denial of Service, DDOS ?

    DOS seems so much cooler for a computer related crime, if indeed denying service is a crime, which seems like a stretch (as mentioned above).

    It's not (none / 0) (#21)
    by Rojas on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 10:58:34 AM EST

    It is important to note the difference between a DDoS and DoS attack. If an attacker mounts an attack from a single host it would be classified as a DoS attack. In fact, any attack against availability would be classed as a Denial of Service attack. On the other hand, if an attacker uses a thousand systems to simultaneously launch smurf attacks against a remote host, this would be classified as a DDoS attack.

    The major advantages to an attacker of using a distributed denial-of-service attack are that multiple machines can generate more attack traffic than one machine, multiple attack machines are harder to turn off than one attack machine, and that the behavior of each attack machine can be stealthier, making it harder to track down and shut down. These attacker advantages cause challenges for defense mechanisms. For example, merely purchasing more incoming bandwidth than the current volume of the attack might not help, because the attacker might be able to simply add more attack machines.

    It should be noted that in some cases a machine may become part of a DDoS attack with the owner's consent. An example of this is the 2010 DDoS attack against major credit card companies by supporters of WikiLeaks. In cases such as this, supporters of a movement (in this case, those opposing the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange) choose to download and run DDoS software.

    I was Kidding, but Thanks for the Info (none / 0) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 11:18:32 AM EST
    Distributed can be important (none / 0) (#23)
    by Rojas on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:02:23 PM EST
    If thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions, of people join in a widespread act of civil disobedience FBI has a conundrum.