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FBI arrests 14 over PayPal cyber-attack

20 July 2011  |  8501 views  |  0 digital fingerprints

The FBI has arrested 14 people accused of involvement in last year's cyber-attack on PayPal's Web site by 'Anonymous' in retaliation for the company's closure of a donation account for Wikileaks.

PayPal was one of several firms targeted in 'Operation Payback' by the loose online collective Anonymous for its decision to block payments to whistleblowing site WikiLeaks.

According to an indictment, the group coordinated and executed distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against PayPal's computer servers in a move dubbed 'Operation Avenge Assange' using an open source program the group makes available for free download on the Internet.

The 14 individuals accused of taking part in the attack were arrested in 10 different states and charged with intentional damage to a protected computer. Another two people were picked up in the US on similar charges not related to PayPal after the FBI executed 35 search warrants.

Meanwhile, the UK's Met arrested one person and Dutch police another four on cyber-crime related charges.

MasterCard and Visa were also hit by Anonymous DDoS attacks last year for blocking payments to WikiLeaks while members of the collective are also understood to have published e-mails belonging to Bank of America.

WikiLeaks has recently filed a formal complaint with the European Commission, claiming that Visa and MasterCard are in breach of EU anti-trust laws by blocking donations.
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