Five Arrested In U.K. For 'Anonymous' Attacks In Support Of WikiLeaks

January 27, 2011

Mark Memmott

"Five people from across the U.K. were arrested early today in connection with a spate of online attacks last month in support of the whistleblowers' site WikiLeaks," The Guardian writes. Three of the suspects are teenagers — ages 15, 16 and 19.

The Wall Street Journal adds that the five are suspected of being part of the "online collective known as 'Anonymous,' which authorities and computer specialists say are behind recent attacks on companies and organizations that had tangled with document leaking Web site WikiLeaks."

The Journal also notes that:

"Following the attacks, police in Netherlands arrested two individuals. One of them was a 16 year old boy who Dutch police say was involved with the attacks on MaterCard and Visa. The second was a 19 year old boy who allegedly had attacked the Dutch prosecutor's website in sympathy with the WikiLeaks hackers, authorities say."

In early December, after WikiLeaks started to roll out thousands of State Department diplomatic cables and after its founder, Julian Assange, was taken into custody in the U.K. because Swedish authorities want to question him about rape allegations, MasterCard, eBay, PayPal and some other companies stopped providing their services to the whistleblower website. Then those companies were hit with "denial of service" attacks by hackers. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.