Interpol arrests 25 suspected `Anonymous` hackers

Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a series of coordinated cyber-attacks recently.

Lyon: Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the `Anonymous` hackers group in a swoop on over a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global
police body said today.

"Operation Unmask was launched in mid-February following a
series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from
Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain," said the world police
body based in the French city of Lyon.

The statement cited attacks on the websites of the
Colombian Ministry of Defence and the presidency, as well as
on Chile`s Endesa electricity company and its National
Library, among others.

The operation was carried out by police from Argentina,
Chile, Colombia and Spain, the statement said, with 250 items
of computer equipment and mobile phones seized in raids on 40
premises in 15 cities.

Police also seized credit cards and cash from the
suspects, aged 17 to 40.

"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," said Interpol`s acting director of police services.

However, it was not clear what evidence there was to prove
those arrested were part of Anonymous, an extremely loose-knit
international movement of online activists, or "hacktivists."

Spanish police said earlier they had arrested four
suspected hackers accused of sabotaging websites and
publishing confidential data on the Internet.

They were accused of hacking political parties` and
companies` websites and adding fangs to the faces of leaders
in photographs online, and publishing data identifying top
officials` security guards, Spanish police said.

The operation, carried out after trawling through computer
logs in order to trace IP addresses, also netted 10 suspects
in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia, Spanish
police said.

They said one of the suspects went by the nicknames
Thunder and Pacotron and was suspected of running the computer
network used by Anonymous in Spain and Latin America, via
servers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

He was arrested in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

Two of the suspects were in detention while one was bailed
and the fourth was a minor who was left in the care of his