Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN Security Breach

June 10, 2011 -

According to a New York Times report, Spanish police have arrested three men they claim were involved in hacking Sony's PlayStation Network and the PlayStation Store. Police also claim that the trio are part of the hacktivist group Anonymous. The three men were released on their own recognizance pending formal charges but are expected to be charged with "forming an illegal association to attack public and corporate Web sites," which carries a maximum sentence of up to three years.

The official Twitter feed for the hacktivist group does provide some confirmation that the three are somehow connected to the group:

"Spanish Police dismantle the #Anonymous hacker group in Spain. They attacked #Playstation Store," read a tweet from the group's official Twitter feed early this morning. "Police arrested 3 #Anonymous leaders in Barcelona, Alicante & Almería. They attacked governments of Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Colombia..."

"#Anonymous has thousands of 'zombies' computers infected all over the world."

A subsequent tweet directed at Spanish law enforcement offer a simple, ominous message from the group:

"Dear @policia, Expect us. #Anonymous."

The NYT report adds that police are alleging that one of the men ran a computer server in "an apartment in the northern port city of Gijo" that was used to attack Sony's services. It has long been speculated that the hack's point of origin was somewhere in Europe, but a handful of arrests doesn't add any real credence to that theory. It is also unknown if these arrests are an isolated incident or the beginning of a sweep by law enforcement.

Spanish police also allege that the trio were directly involved in hacking attacks on BBVA and Bankia, ENEL, and government servers belonging to Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Iran, Chile, Colombia, and New Zealand.

More on this story as it develops. Thanks to Rodrigo Ybáñez García for the tip on this one.

Source: NYT, by way of Kotaku


Comments

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

It's all a conspiracy, you hire a bunch of hackers, pretend no one can really stop them(considering the FBI and CIA can pretty much track anyone), have the President and Heads of State claim the internet is an "unsafe" place, since the internet is now "unsafe" people cave into letting the governments censor/filter the internet and allow an internet "on/off" switch.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Watching the antics of Anonymous and Wikileaks... in a way we live in interesting times where we get to see traditional powers questioned by populist forces that can actually hurt them.. on the other hand we have seen this before and know they will eventually be crushed.  They are simply too poor to be powerful.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Just because the rebel alliance attacked the death star and targeted darth vader doesn't mean that their other actions are excusable. There are millions of citizens that are perfectly happy under the government of the empire that suffer every time the rebels "take action" "on our behalf."

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Indeed.

You need to remember that there wasn't only soldiers garrisoned on that station. Janotiral staff, administrators, hell, it's been said that the Death Star had a shopping center, so innocent stock clerks were killed when it exploded.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/06/10/176244/Three-Arrested-For-SonyEgyp...

As you can find out here, they were considered to be the leader because... they were the Op on the IRC channel at the moment people talked about ddosing SONY. And the comparison with the terrorist is something the UN did, saying they had access to dangerous technologies like... WIFI networks...

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Here we go, again. This will be just another chance for the media to shoot the Anonymous "group".

First off, calling them "terrorists" is rather incorrect. Those performing these attacks don't attack using fear and terror, which is how the term was originally coined. Furthermore, many governmental agencies use more acts of fear and terror than any "hactivist" group, but that's another debate for another day.

Secondly, there's one main issue with trying to associate any crime with a group labelling themselves as "Anonymous", where their users are also anonymous:

Anyone can claim association with the group, thereby shifting all blame to the group itself. That won't save them from being charged but it will make the group look bad as a whole, when the majority of it's members might not have anything to do with the crime in the first place.

There's virtually no way to actually prove what the group, as a whole, is doing or not doing. You have people who merely claim to be representatives of the group but in reality, are using the group's name and anonymity as a means to disguise themselves.

There are people who claim to be apart of Anonymous that simply hack whatever they can "for the lulz" (which is argubly how they were started in the first place) and there are others who use the group's name as a synonom for "freedom fighters", where some of the people try and fight those opressing freedom of speech or other internet-related rights.

To say the entirety of Anonymous is good or bad is inaccurate, since you can neither prove nor disprove anybody's relationship to Anonymous at all.

TL;DR: If I say "I'm apart of Anonymous", that doesn't necessarily mean I am. It also doesn't necessarily mean I'm not. The joys of being "anonymous", right?

-- Randi Tastix

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

"Those performing these attacks don't attack using fear and terror, which is how the term was originally coined. Furthermore, many governmental agencies use more acts of fear and terror than any "hactivist" group, but that's another debate for another day"

Not fear for one's physical being, no.  But when they make statements that "policia" shoud "expect" them, they are trying to come off as a fear inspiring group.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Oh dear, Steve Martin is on the case.

- Left4Dead

Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

The key: throw it away.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

ANd please don't use the term "hacktivist." That implies they had something bigger than themselves as a reason to do this.

They are cyberterrorists, plain and simple.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Ok first off, there is no evidence that Anonymous had anything to do with this. They did, in fact, say that it wasn't their doing, as stealing personal information is not what they are about. Secondly, just because you're pissed that the entire Sony network has been kicked in the groin doesn't justify you calling them terrorists. It is far more likely, as many authorities have conjectured, that these hackers planted the text file to use Anonymous as a scape goat.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

"Ok first off, there is no evidence that Anonymous had anything to do with this."

Doesn't mean they weren't involved at all. At best, it means they weren't invovled, at worst, it means they're good at hiding their tracks. But as the adage goes, "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst".

"They did, in fact, say that it wasn't their doing, as stealing personal information is not what they are about."

And you didn't think that maybe they lied? Criminals tend to do that sometimes. Terrorists, they may not be, but criminals, they are. No two ways about that.

On the other hand, they never said Anonymous was to blame, did they? They just said that the men who did it were allegedly members of Anonymous. And judging from Anonymous's reaction, they probably were.

"It is far more likely, as many authorities have conjectured, that these hackers planted the text file to use Anonymous as a scape goat."

It's just as likely that Anonymous planted it there hoping that would throw the authorities off. I mean, come on. Who would incriminate themselves in a crime, right?

Also just as likely is that Anonymous wasn't involved, but the men who were arrested could have put the file there wanting to show off that they were members of Anonymous, but not necessarily use them for a scapegoat. 

I'm not putting blame on anything, because there's lots that nobody knows. You're free to believe whether or not you think they did it. There's more to this case than meets the eye, I'm sure.

_____________________________________________________________________________

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Atlanta Video Games Examiner for examiner.com

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Unlike most of my fellow Americans, I presume innocence until evidence proves otherwise. Any link to any group stated in the article is purely conjecture without evidence. Everything presented so far is circumstantial and assumption at best.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

For once, I agree with you. Like I said, I'm not placing blame on anyone. All I gave was merely a list of possibilities. I'm not inclined to believe one over any of the others. Again, like I said earlier, there's just too much that nobody knows.

_____________________________________________________________________________

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Atlanta Video Games Examiner for examiner.com

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Urrgh... This news has nothing to do with the breach of Sony's security and something to do with the DDOS Anonymous claimed credit that happened a while BEFORE the breach.

Basically, here goes the story in short:

There's an IRC channel.

Lots of anonymous go on that channel.

Some talk about doing the DDOS or about it in the past tense (wasn't told by the police).

Some observer was there, give the logs to the police.

Police round up the 3 operator on the channels since they are Anonymous leaders (see the incredibly fallacy at this step).

Since they don't really have anything on them yet, they release them until court day, but give to the medias a picture of the chats with three red arrows pointing at the @ next to their user name on the user list of the IRC channel as well as mentioning something the UN said previously: "Hackers are like terrorists" (much paraphrasing here) and add that those hackers possessed powerful technologies... just before mentioning "network WIFI".

And that's where it's at. Most people in Spain expect this to either be a public warning and thus have them punished no matter what or see them walk clear of all charges since, well, there's just NO evidence of anything yet (remember, even an admission of guilt is not a proof, but just one more piece of the puzzle. And none of them admitted to anything, either since the arrest or on the logs.)

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

I never said it had anything to do with anything else. As stated below, I just listed several possibilities, none of which I can, nor wish to prove. Pure conjecture.

That being said, they were released on their own recognizance. Which, I'll be the first to admit, is not an admission of guilt, per se, but it is saying that they owe a debt to society or state, which is essentially admitting they did SOMETHING wrong. So they'll probably be punished in some fashion, but they probably won't be charged for anything related to the Sony hack.

Then again, this is Spain, not America. I dunno how Spanish law works, but I expect they have something similar.

_____________________________________________________________________________

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Atlanta Video Games Examiner for examiner.com

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

I think you are not aware of their role in the Arab Spring.

For example, during Arab Spring some governments tried to shut-down internet, or make great firewalls, and the Anonymous created ways to circunvent that.

There are reports of some even showing up in person to help in protests or help injured people.

 

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

That in no way excuses their actions in this case.

This may have hurt Sony financially, but it also hurt over one hundred million people who, for a little over a month and a half, couldn't access online content they paid for

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

You are ASSUMING they really attacked PSN.

Note that they didn't (the initial reports are wrong btw... I wonder why this news has been not been updated yet).

 

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Even if they had, so had countless other groups.

It was well known that there were groups out there that if you slipped them a little money they would create accounts or credit on the PSN network for you.  This type of stuff had been going on for months and was not just a single centralized group.  I would not be surprised if there were dozens of little groups with thier hands on the servers long before Sony discovered the intrusion.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

And those actions overrule their criminal activities???

Don't call them "Hacktivists" I do agree with that.

Don't call the "terrorists" either because their actions do not fall under the terrorism concept.

They are simply criminals, If someone incurs in illegal activities even if you're trying to prove a point you are a criminal and you deserve to be treated as such. I simply hope that all civilized nations start treating these clowns like real criminals and give them serious jail time. This is the only way to curb this behavior.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

This is like trying to lock wind in a jail...

 

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

With any luck those three won't be able to lock wind either.  It is likely sort of hard to do after getting the muscles in your arse so worked over.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

I wouldn´t call them terrorists either. Terrorist is a term way too abused to label persons as evil. Criminals is just enough.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Criminals, and self important assholes.  Hope the police are able to use them and their computers to find more of them around the world.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

"self important assholes"

That´s OK, too.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

It has long been speculated that the hack's point of origin was somewhere in Europe...

I knew it! But seriously, what they mean with "zombies' computers infected all over the world"?

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

To be more specific: Certain Anonymous-related websites host a piece of software inviting followers to download and keep on their computer. This software will connect their computer to the botnet of whatever person or group is controlling them.

The entire activity is completely willing. Whilst some people claiming to be apart of the group no doubt use nefarious methods of injecting the software onto some systems, there are many systems who will have been "infected" by the will of the computer's owner, knowing exactly what it does and what it might be used for.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

My guess is some kind of bot net deal. And I guess their term "zombie" is refering to people who were pissed at them over PSN being down, you know, calling them zombies because they paiod for their games or something and didn't hack them like those cool kids who all fall under oen banner did.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Zombie computers are the individual computers in the bot net. They are infected but act normally for the user, until given a specific signal to act. After the signal the 'zombies' act in a unified manner, swarming the target for a certain effect (think Denial of Service). Anyone with a Windows OS could be affected and never know it.

Some bot net zombies also infect other computer, usually through trojan emails.

Re: Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN ...

Always keep your anti virus up to date and let it do it's thing

 

 
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