BOSTON, Massachusetts –
A US Department of Justice and FBI sting of a group of apartments in downtown Boston yesterday yielded the arrests of a reported 24 members of the hacking group ‘Anonymous,’ who in this case, turned out to be anything but.
“Anonymous hackers have been bombarding Twitter with account information of supposed terrorists – whether they be ISIS or otherwise related – in hopes of having them [the accounts] removed,” said Federal Agent Richard Gill. “In those takedown requests, several members of the group left key information about their location, and we were able to track their whereabouts and make the arrest.”
Although support for Anonymous has been at an all-time high after the group declared war on terrorists who use the internet to coordinate their attacks and pass along information, the FBI and other government agencies still list Anonymous themselves as a terrorist group.
“Hackers penetrate and ravage delicate public and privately owned computer systems, infecting them with viruses, and stealing information for their own ends,” said Gill. “These people, they’re terrorists.”
With an estimated half a million people on the internet claiming to be part of Anonymous or an avid supporter of the group, the arrest of 24 people – aged 19 to 38 – seems small in the grand scheme of things, although Agent Gill says it’s a “great start.”
“Naturally we know that we will never be able to arrest every member of Anonymous, and even if we could, a new generation of tech-enthusiasts would pop up in their place, but we need to put a stop to hacking, as much as possible,” said Gill. “Maybe it’s a war we can’t win, but hey, we’ve been uselessly fighting the war on drugs for decades, so why not the war on hackers, too?”