INTERPOL’S WEBSITE APPEARS to have been the target of a cyber attack following the arrests of 25 members of the hacking activist group Anonymous.
The international police agency said that 25 suspected members of the movement were arrested in a sweep across Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain – carried out by local police under the aegis of Interpol’s Latin American Working Group of Experts on Information Technology Crime. Those arrested are aged between 17 and 40.
Those arrested are suspected of planning cyber-attacks against several institutions including Colombia’s defence ministry and presidential websites, and Chile’s Endesa electricity company and national library, reports the Telegraph.
Following news of the arrests, Interpol’s website went down for a short period of time on Tuesday, according to the Guardian.
Interpol said the arrests had been made as part of ‘Operation Unmask’, which was launched in mid-February in response to a series of cyber-attacks originating in the four countries targeted. About 250 pieces of IT equipment and mobile phones were seized during the operation.
“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 Interpol’s acting executive director of police services Bernd Rossbach.
Anonymous Analytics described the movement as a “decentralised network of individuals focused on promoting access to information, free speech, and transparency.”
The group, which launches fairly regular cyber-attacks against targets it considers corrupt, says it has moved the issue of transparency from the political level to the corporate level in order to “expose companies that practice poor corporate governance and are involved in large-scale fraudulent activities.”