Arrested men believed to be part of the Anonymous group of hackers linked to web attacks carried out in support of Wikileaks whistleblowing site
Five people, believed to be members of the Anonymous group, have been arrested by the police in connection with offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) this morning arrested five males aged 15, 16, 19, 20 and 26, from residential addresses around the UK.
Recently the Anonymous group has gained a high profile after it claimed to be behind DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks in support of controversial whistleblowing website, Wikileaks. The hackers attacked companies such as Visa and Mastercard, after they refused to process donations to Wikileaks.
However, these attacks are not the only focus of the joint international investigation by the Met with law enforcement agencies in Europe and the US launched last year.
Anonymous is also believed to be behind attacks on a number of other companies before its ‘support' of Wikileaks. Even Gene Simmons, bassist with US rock band Kiss was caught up after engaging in a war of words with the group over copyright.
"The investigation preceded the Wikileaks attacks so those attacks have not been its only focus," a representative for the PCeU told us.
The police have not outlined the offences under the Computer Misuse Act they believe the five have committed, but the maximum penalty that can be given under this law is 10 years in jail and a £5,000 fine.
The co-ordinated arrests were carried out in the West Midlands, Northants, Herts, Surrey and London. All five are being held in custody at local police stations.
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