FBI Executes Warrants, Allegedly Arrests Members of Anonymous in US

Reports are surfacing that suggests that the FBI has executed a massive sweep across the United States, allegedly arresting members of hacking group “Anonymous”. While one name was released so far, it’s unclear exactly which members were arrested.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Slashdot is pointing to an article on CNN which says that 12 arrests were made across the United States. The arrests were made in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio.

Numerous articles around the web point to similar sources that all say it also includes raids on peoples homes by the FBI.

The real question is, did these raids make a dent in these hacking groups? We decided to check out some of the hackers that we monitor – namely those making very high profile hacks. Sabu is still tweeting. AnonymousIRC is still tweeting. Connexion is still tweeting. F1Esc is still tweeting. Abhaxas is stil tweeting. P0keu hasn’t tweeted in 23 hours as of this writing.

So, at best, 1 out of six hasn’t tweeted since these high profile raids. If P0keu offers an indication that he’s still around, I would say that the FBI struck out completely in these raids. So who exactly did the FBI arrest in these high profile raids? Speculation has been abound that they failed to catch anyone important. In one report, the speculation is that the FBI may have nabbed nothing more than over a dozen script kiddies. In other words, low on the totem poll hackers in the hacking world.

So the question we return to is, what has the FBI accomplished in all of this? It may have been more about a PR move rather than actually busting these people. For months, the hackers have been all about being in control. Anonymous has already told authorities that the internet is their world, not the governments world. The FBI may be trying to counter that by showing that anyone of these people can be caught.

At this point, the FBI should hope that they can get some leads out of the script kiddies. Otherwise, I’m quite sure they’ll be back to square one all over again. I can see Anonymous gearing up for another round of hacking against the US government. I would even not at all be surprised if the FBI has their website hacked by the end of the week. Anonymous, LulzSec and similar like-minded hackers are going to be far more motivated to re-establish the fact that the internet is their turf and not the governments. The FBI has struck the hornets nest and all most of us can do is sit by and watch the results.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.