The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested 16 people across the United States said to be affiliated with the notorious hacker group Anonymous.
The arrests, which spanned across multiple states, were related to the cyber attack launched against online payment service PayPal for refusing to provide services to controversial whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Arrests were also carried out in the UK and the Netherlands, as a part of the global crackdown on Anonymous.
According to an article on BBC News, 14 of the 16 arrests made in the US were related to the attack on PayPal.
“In retribution for PayPal’s termination of WikiLeaks’ donation account, a group calling itself Anonymous coordinated and executed distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against PayPal’s computer servers using an open source computer program the group makes available for free download on the Internet,” the US Justice Department said.
The alleged hackers involved in the PayPal attack were arrested in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington DC, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio. The remaining two hackers were also arrested on similar charges but different crimes.
In the UK, the Scotland Yard arrested a 16-year-old boy from South London in relation to the attack, on suspicion of breaching the Computer Misuse Act of 1990. Dutch officials also arrested two people in the Netherlands.