FBI arrests 16 in Anonymous-busting raids

The U.S. Department of Justice last night said the FBI had arrested 16 individuals in the United States in connection with cyber attacks claimed by headless hacking outfit Anonymous and its loosely affiliated offshoot LulzSec.

Fourteen of those arrested were charged with involvement in the attack on PayPal's web site, instituted after the online payment giant refused to process donations to whistle-blowing outfit Wikileaks. One person was also arrested in Britain - reportedly a 16 year-old boy from South London - and four further arrests were made in Holland, the DOJ said.

Altogether more than 35 search warrants were executed in the U.S., resulting in the 16 arrests.

Fourteen individuals were named in an indictment unsealed last night in the Northern District of California in San Jose, as having been charged participating in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against PayPal. The alleged offenders were named along with their ages and online handles as follows: Christopher Wayne Cooper, 23, a.k.a. "Anthrophobic;" Joshua John Covelli, 26, a.k.a. "Absolem" and "Toxic;" Keith Wilson Downey, 26; Mercedes Renee Haefer, 20, a.k.a. "No" and "MMMM;" Donald Husband, 29, a.k.a. "Ananon;" Vincent Charles Kershaw, 27, a.k.a. "Trivette," "Triv," and "Reaper;" Ethan Miles, 33; James C. Murphy, 36; Drew Alan Phillips, 26, a.k.a. "Drew010;" Jeffrey Puglisi, 28, a.k.a. "Jeffer," "Jefferp," and "Ji;" Daniel Sullivan, 22; Tracy Ann Valenzuela, 42; and Christopher Quang Vo, 22. One individual's name was not released.

The two further arrests were of one Scott Matthew Arciszewski, 21, who was charged with attacking the website of FBI private affiliate Infragard, and Lance Moore, 21, who was charged with breaking into AT&T's servers and making off with a haul of documents. Both these attacks were claimed by Anonymous' chums LulzSec.

The DoJ said that to date, more than 75 searches have taken place in the United States as part of ongoing investigations into the attacks.