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back to article UK cops arrest five in Anonymous attacks probe

Scotland Yard has arrested five people under the Computer Misuse Act as part of its investigation into alleged attacks by the Anonymous hacking collective. The five males - aged, 15, 16, 19, 20 and 26 - were arrested in a series of co-ordinated raids on Thursday morning by detectives from Scotland Yard's Police Central e-Crime …

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Big Brother

VFM as always

I see the UK police as usual are using their time and tax payers money wisely.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dick Emery

>>"I see the UK police as usual are using their time and tax payers money wisely."

Indeed they are.

Nipping some irresponsible youths in the bud who think their armchair outrage is more important than other people running lawful businesses seems like a good use of resources to me.

Do nothing, and a kid might take that as a green light to do whatever they want whenever they feel (or are told to feel) annoyed at one or other organisation, achieving nothing while costing grown-ups money and inconvenience.

If they give a decent slapping to a few of them now, that could discourage an awful lot of others in future.

Seems like money well spent to me.

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Flame

@AC

So you posted you pro american pro police state BS anonymously?

what are hiding?

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Stop

@Dave 81

Ah, yes, because "Dave 81" is very identifying. It doesn't really matter what a poster's name is, unless you are planning on discrediting posts by person X. And yes, I chose AC for the intended irony.

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Re: @Dick Emery

> >>"I see the UK police as usual are using their time and tax payers money wisely."

>> Indeed they are

There will be a lot more of this. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation lawbreaking is merely that. With luck the punishment will make the criminals think. Should they be guilty and as such guilty, of course.

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@AC

"Nipping some irresponsible youths in the bud who think their armchair outrage is more important than other people running lawful businesses seems like a good use of resources to me."

Lawful businesses? You're calling ACS:Law a lawful business? I certainly LOL'd. That, my dear friend, has yet to be proven in the ongoing court cases and investigations into their operations. Except, of course, for the illegal breaches of the Data Protection Act which they are already demonstrably guilty of.

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Re: @AC

This variant of the argumentum ad hominem is of the most vacuous and weak quality, employing as it does the bogus guilt by association concept. You however gained 100 points on my irony meter for being as anonymous as ac, 'Dave 81'. What's that, didn't look in the mirror as you typed that post, no self awareness, no irony, no sense of laws? Oh I am truly surprised, no really I am.

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FAIL

Personally I do support some of the attacks

and don't think that they're without justification (in some cases), and I can understand that at some level it is a response by people who feel powerless to express their discontent in any other way.

But (and it's a very very big but), if you participate you know that it's illegal. Regardless of who you're attacking and whether they're breaking the law, attacking them is illegal. If you do choose to participate then you can't have any complaint if the police catch you.

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Stop

@Scorchio!!

And your attempt at proof by verbosity is also very weak. If you read my entire post, instead of picking and choosing the parts you wanted, you might have seen my last sentence: "And yes, I chose AC for the intended irony." But, obviously you didn't. Additionally, you probably would have been wise not to use a name like "Scorchio!!", lest you destroy any remaining credulity in your already shaky argument.

Now I'm assuming that we will now see an entire chain of anonymous posters "calling the kettle black."

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Anonymous Coward

@Semihere

>>"Lawful businesses? You're calling ACS:Law a lawful business?"

You're sure it was the attacks against ACS:law that were the reason for the arrests?

In any case, even regarding ACS, as you say yourself, legal action there is ongoing, and it's definitely not up to some mob of groupthinking teenagers to decide which businesses are and aren't legitimate, or what kind of sanctions should be taken against them.

Taking the law into one's own hands isn't legal, and can lead to prosecution, often for very good reason.

One of the main reasons for having law in the first place is to avoid the stupidity and escalation and violence and waste that happens when people decide for themselves exactly what they should be allowed to do.

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Anonymous Coward

@'dave 81'

>>"So you posted you pro american pro police state BS anonymously?

Which bit of your paranoid imagination did you conjure 'pro american' from?

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FAIL

And yet..

And yet they can't arrest the actual cyber criminals and spammers who continue to operate out of the UK with zero police interference.

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Ha!

Possibly because actual cyber criminals and spammers dont use badly written non-anoniymising DDOS tools that echo's your IP address to all and sundry.

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WTF?

And yet..

And yet they can't arrest cure world hunger and stop whaling either.

"Officer, how can you be arresting me for beating my wife when the neighbor has so obviously parked in an improper manner and should be given a ticket?"

There are plenty of remotely rational arguments to try and excuse these kids' behavior (arguing that it was an act civil disobedience as part of a political protest seemed to work OK for the folks who tried to block coal trains going to power plants in the UK a couple years back IIRC), but arguing that completely unrelated actor A's completely unrelated illegal behavior somehow excuses actor B is probably the absolute worst pile of nonsense I have seen.... ever.

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Unhappy

Priorities

This shows the police can move when there is political will for them to act. A pity they can't apply the same resources to spammers, ebay crooks, hawkers of stolen property on Gumtree etc. who make life crap for regular folks.

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Boffin

Really? Does it now?

1.) Receive network logs from effected sites (probably with certain addresses highlighted and ready to go and their ISP already listed)

2.) In the US at least, send list over to the court to get an order for the ISPs to match addresses to names

3.) Receive names back from ISPs, prep charges and send them to a Grand Jury (not always necessary AFAIK) to issue a warrant for arrest

It's easy - it's essentially the same thing the copyright lawyers do and those folks aren't rocket scientists by any stretch of the imagination.

That said, it by no means guarantees a conviction or says they're really guilty at this point, but if 10,000 requests an hour to MasterCard.com were coming from your personal internet connection you shouldn't be surprised if the party van pulls up to your house to have a chat.

Speaking of, BRB FBI

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Re: Priorities

"This shows the police can move when there is political will for them to act. A pity they can't apply the same resources to spammers, ebay crooks, hawkers of stolen property on Gumtree etc. who make life crap for regular folks."

Yet, considering how certain you seem, you provide no unbroken chain of reason, starting with first principles and evidence, and ending in a logically watertight conclusion, from the perspective of evidence and rationality. Just a throw away claim without anything to back it.

According to your reasoning all of the IT coppers should prioritise their work to suit your needs, and not deal with large, organised DDoS attacks. What's that you say? Did I hear you say that they were either only fun or perhaps done for the right reasons? Oh, you are a police officer and know how to task units do you?

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WTF?

Confused.

As i recall from my dark and dingy memory box Anonymous used a botnet as part of their DDoS attacks. Hell, a DDoS cannot work without a few thousand infected computers. Judging by the ages of those arrested i recon thay have zeroed in on the bots and not the guilty people.

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Anonymous Coward

Funny

Not to say they're guilty but their ages are an exact fit for how I'd imagined Anonymous "hacktivists".

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aiding and abetting

IANAL, but it seems to me that deliberately installing a botnet client on your computer is, at best, aiding and abetting those who'd use the botnet to attack other computers.

Unless the botnet clients keep logs of who's been controlling it, it is hard to track back further. It might have been better to ask/subpoena the ISP to log all traffic to the botnet clients, in order to track down the command&control machines, if it's not done via another proxy.

Do you really blame the police for starting with the lowest hanging fruit? It's like arresting the local small-time drug dealer; the visible face, but there's another level of dealer behind him.

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Thing is it's an "opt-in" botnet...

The version of LOIC that they used allows remote control* - so {naive recruit / couragous young adult} runs the program, connects to IRC where older heads take control and point it at the target of the day. Given they ran the damn thing they've no viable defence and since LOIC doesn't shield its point of origin the investigation consists of reading some log files.

Daft sods...

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Avenge_Assange#Tools_and_communication

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@AC

>>"Not to say they're guilty but their ages are an exact fit for how I'd imagined Anonymous "hacktivists"."

Or should that be 'acnevists'?

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Paris Hilton

Don't be confused..

LOIC is a freely available DDOS tool that simply generates traffic - it does not make any attempt to hide the IP of the attacked - it is NOT a botnet. You have to download it - install it - point it at a target and make it do it's thing. On the other hand Anonymous purportedly ALSO has control/access of a DDOS tool which is a botnet ( a weaponised version of LOIC - dunno ? ) - point being is that Anonymous orchestrated this attack via a website anonops.net and IRC and threw all those that were not smart enough to know or care (read: average enraged hormonal 15-year old) that running LOIC is not secure firmly under the bus.

Paris - because she would have run LOIC..

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FAIL

Anonymous? Nope.

More fool them for not using a VPN. Bazinga.

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Big Brother

'Coordinated raids'? Really?

Arresting children. This is what it's come to. Very sad.

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Do something illegal, get arrested

If they break the law, which they have, then they should be arrested. Nothing sad about it.

I would question your definition of children. These individuals were all 15 or over. At that age they drink, smoke, fuck and assault people. Hardly the behaviour of children imo.

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Grenade

Not quite....

"These individuals were all 15 or over. At that age they drink, smoke, fuck and assault people."

These were guys who hang out on 4Chan. I think you can remove fuck from that list.

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Anonymous Coward

I expect they may have the same problem as ACS Law

in that they can't prove who was actually using the network connection.

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Not really...

With ACS Law it was a civil case - this is a criminal investigation where plod has undoubtedly gathered evidence in the form of hardware (the word raids being a hint).

So all they have to do is show a jury a machine that has (or has recently had) LOIC installed on it linked to whatever login the kid in question was using. Not the most taxing piece of computer forensics I'd have thought.

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So who was using that login?

I would like to see that proven. Most households I would have thought have 1 login for the whole family (this is what I see on my rounds to fix them.) Probe that it was a, b, or c using it at that time and installed that bit of software?

Unless they blabbed online to their mates (where it was logged) it would be very hard to prove. IANAL but this is easy to see. If they are the only one using said computer then fine, easy go straight to jail do not pass go.

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Silver badge

LOIC is not illegal

You'd have to prove that LOIC was used by the kid in question AND to conduct DDOS attacks against a 3rd-party server.

Before the idiotic comments: yes, LOIC does have legitimate uses.

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Anonymous Coward

LOIC is illegal in the UK?

Actually, it is illegal in the UK to the best of my understanding. The distinction between most tools that we have as techs and script kiddies have as "hacking tools" is purely down to how they are used.

If script kiddies were caught by tracing IP addresses back to the source from a server that was DDOS'd, then finding a tool that launched that DDOS then they are probably screwed just on on possession. However, I suspect that most script kiddies are also going to have login details saved for 4 chan etc. that prosecutors can then point out to a Jury as proof that the person downloaded the tool.

Even allowing for the script kiddies pleading not guilty and then lying under oath then I think they are likely to be found guilty. (especially if they "deleted" the tool to cover their tracks not thinking of digital forensics...)

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Anonymous Coward

Prove it was A, B or C

Given that the case has to be proven 'beyond reasonable doubt' and not beyond _all_ doubt, it may not be as hard as you think.

If the family consists of Dad, Mum, 15 year old teeny, 10 year old sister, it shouldn't be too hard to convince a Jury that they are the most likely culprit. Of course if there's two teenagers in the house it gets harder.

Given that they appear to be stereotypical script Kiddies I'd imagine there's probably a lot of logged IM's, Forum Posts saying "Guess What I did".

All speculation at this point though, for all we know they could all have kept diaries with an entry saying "Today I helped Anonymous DDoS Visa"!

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Unhappy

Warned those chaps - start by posting to the Reg

as an «Anonymous Coward» and it's all downhill from there. But listen to the voice of age and wisdom, nay that they flatly refused to do !...

Henri

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First they came for the script kiddies

and I whooped with joy.

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That made me lol

I know it shouldn't, but it did... Soz

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And nothing of value was lost...

Police just after the low hanging fruit!

One thing I do want to know? How come none of the people doing the DDOS against Wikileaks have been tracked down? They've broken the law as well.

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Asymmetric Policing

Because Wikileaks is not a financial institution. Compare the sentences likely to be handed out for stealing an individual's £10k car and stealing £10k from a bank.

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Anonymous Coward

Apart from

Lost business...

And the Wikileaks DDOS was done from the US by all accounts...

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FAIL

RE: Asymmetric Policing

"Because Wikileaks is not a financial institution. Compare the sentences likely to be handed out for stealing an individual's £10k car and stealing £10k from a bank."

Not sure what you mean here - they Anonymous are in no way affiliated with Wikileaks nor did they target Wikileaks. They did target Visa, Paypal, and various other commercial organisation. So .. the gods of commerce are going to wale down piles of shit upon their combined heads.

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Why the guy who did the WikiLeaks DoS wasn't tracked

The guy who did the DDoS against Wikileaks claims to use his own scripts and appears to know how to anonymize his actions (http://th3j35t3r.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/time-to-speak-up-part-one/) so that probably explains why he wasn't tracked down; that and the fact that he is from the USA who do not care much for Wikileaks at the moment.

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Anonymous Coward

@Hooch181

Maybe because wikileaks don't keep logs of people accessing their site?

Do we even know if wikileaks have made a complaint to any law enforcement agency about their DDOS?

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Stop

@Ivan Frimmel 1

"Anonymous are in no way affiliated with Wikileaks nor did they target Wikileaks."

Yes we know that. Nobody is suggesting they did. You seem to have misread the comment.

Wikileaks was attacked by so-called "patriot" activists, as was 4-chan. I look forward to seeing the authorities make some arrests.*

*Warning : may contain traces of unlikelihood

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FAIL

To me...

this devalues any effort by law enforcement to combat actual crime!

When they go down this route it points out the hypocracy and curruption within our government and law enforcement (Or at least gives people an argument suggesting it).

If you break the law, you break the law. It shouldn't matter what side you were doing it for!

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Anonymous Coward

As others have said

Bit pointless investigating the Wikileaks DDoS if Wikileaks don't keep logs! You'd certainly struggle to get a conviction, hell without logs where do you even start?

Do 4Chan keep logs? Have they complained to the police? If not then that might be a big clue as to why we've not heard about an investigation

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Happy

In my defence...

I would claim that the Spencer Kelly, BBC Click resident idiot, deliberately and illegally infected my computer with a bot (over which I had no control)...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/12/bbc_botnet_probe/

And that Detective Superintendent Charlie McMurdie, of the Met's high-profile Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) is a liar...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/19/pceu_tribunal/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: a cynic writes...

If these people had any sense at all they would have wiped all trace of LOIC from their machine when the first people were arrested in Holland, and then set their wireless security to WEP :)

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Bronze badge

WEP

99.99% still use that, these days ... and I love it how these kids are called script kiddies ... all they did was install a piece of software and passed control other to some third party ...

This is no different to blocking a factory!

Anybody who thinks these kids should be arrested is an idiot ... no if's, but's or maybe's.

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Anonymous Coward

Erm.. Yeah it is

Blocking a factory is an inconvenince, but it is legal (within certain constraints).

Launching, participating in or aiding a DDoS is illegal. They broke the law and committed an arrestable offence, so yes they should be arrested.

Whether it's right or wrong that it's an arrestable offence is the only thing up for debate, and LOIC aint gonna solve that one for you matey.

If they'd (peacefully) picketed Mastercards HQ they'd be in the clear. The DDoS didn't get anything changed did it?

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They're like suicide bombers

The one running it all will, of course, not have been using LOIK (certainly not from his or her IP address anyway).

The uprising has been quelled. That's good, right? Certainly as someone affected by their action as a collective, I'm happy this has happened. They're not cutting edge cyber criminals (still after them....) but it might well be something's been nipped (nicked?) in the bud.

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