Feds Arrest 14 ‘Anonymous’ Suspects Over PayPal Attack, Raid Dozens More
Federal agents arrested 14 suspected Anonymous members Tuesday on charges of participating in denial-of-service attacks against online payment service provider PayPal.
Five additional suspects were arrested overseas — one in the United Kingdom and four in the Netherlands — for related crimes. The UK arrest was reportedly of “Tflow”, a former member of the hacker group LulzSec, identified by police as a 16-year-old male.
The majority of the individuals were allegedly acting as part of Anonymous, a loosely connected group of online griefers who took credit for denial-of-service attacks last year against PayPal, Visa and Mastercard after the payment service providers announced they would stop processing donations intended for the secret-spilling site WikiLeaks.
In the attacks on the financial-service companies — dubbed Operation Payback — thousands downloaded a tool called the Low Orbit Ion Cannon that joined their computers to the group attack on the target of the moment. However, the tool did nothing to hide a user’s IP address, making it possible for the target website to hand its server logs over to the authorities to track users down by their IP addresses.
According to the indictment, filed in San Jose, California, the attack against PayPal occurred between December 6-10 last year.
The arrested suspects include: Christopher Wayne Cooper, 23, aka “Anthrophobic;” Joshua John Covelli, 26, aka “Absolem” and “Toxic;” Keith Wilson Downey, 26; Mercedes Renee Haefer, 20, aka “No” and “MMMM;” Donald Husband, 29, aka “Ananon;” Vincent Charles Kershaw, 27, aka “Trivette,” “Triv” and “Reaper;” Ethan Miles, 33; James C. Murphy, 36; Drew Alan Phillips, 26, aka “Drew010;” Jeffrey Puglisi, 28, aka “Jeffer,” “Jefferp” and “Ji;” Daniel Sullivan, 22; Tracy Ann Valenzuela, 42; and Christopher Quang Vo, 22. The court has withheld one suspect’s name, presumably because he is younger than 18.
In addition to these, two others were arrested in connection to related crimes. Scott Matthew Arciszewski, 21, was arrested Tuesday in Florida for allegedly hacking the Tampa Bay InfraGuard website in June and uploading three files to the site. He is allegedly the author of a June 21 Twitter post directed to LulzSec reading “Infragard Tampa has one hell of an exploit,” with links. The tweet was also addressed to the FBI national press office’s Twitter account, ensuring that the bureau wouldn’t miss it.