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Report: Spanish Police Arrest Three Connected To PSN Attacks
Report: Spanish Police Arrest Three Connected To PSN Attacks
June 10, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

June 10, 2011 | By Eric Caoili
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    33 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Spain's National Police apprehended three suspects connected to last month's attack on PlayStation Network by hacker collective Anonymous.

The police made the arrests in Barcelona, Alicante, Almeria, and seized a server hosted in Gijon as part of its raids. The suspects allegedly directed operations for Anonymous, according to a report from Reuters.

Investigators say the suspects are in their 30s, and believe the trio was involved in not just the intrusion that forced Sony to take PSN offline for a month, but also hacks against Spanish banks BBVA and Bankia, as well as a cyber-attack on Italian energy group Enel SpA.

Backing those claims, the Spanish police released screenshots from IRC chat logs supposedly showing the group discussing plans to hack Spain's Central Electoral Board and local police websites, possibly in response to proposed legislation against file-sharing in Spain.

In a statement released today, the Spanish police warned against the damage that Anonymous is capable of inflicting: "They are structured in independent cells and make thousands of simultaneous attacks using infected 'zombie' computers worldwide."

"This is why NATO considers them a threat to the military alliance. They are even capable of collapsing a country's administrative structure," the statement continued.

These arrests come just a day after Sony's deputy president Kazuo Hirai told BBC News that the hackers were "very good at hiding their tracks" and that the company "may never know" what personal data they were able to retrieve from users' accounts.

Reports of security breaches for video game publishers have been on the rise recently, including a series of attacks against Sony by Anonymous, a seemingly harmless hack against Nintendo by LulzSec, and an intrusion at Codemasters' site last week.


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Comments


Jose Talbott
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I love it get these filthy criminal's are off the streets, just proves that these terrorist groups are not looking out for gaming community, advancement of Technology and the inventor's spirit. They'er looking for your CC and other personal information sorry Nerds!!! but the Matrix is just a movie and in real life when agent Smith finds you, u end up in a little place called PoundTown aka Jail

Andrew Hopper
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Now if only people like you would channel that enthusiasm into stopping governments from their heavy-handed persecution of internet denizens.

Arnaud Clermonté
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maybe the "persecuted" nerds should open a proper newspaper some time to see what persecution really is...



what strikes me with hackers is that they have absolutely no sense of priorities in the targets they choose.

Are Sony and the spanish government the most "evil" organizations they could find ? Really?

They really need to inform themselves about what's going on in the world, outside of their comfortable, rich, safe and self-centered nerdy community.

Maurício Gomes
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Arnaud Clermonté they fight for freedom of information, thus Sony and spanish governments are targets.



They fight for what they can fight.



Or YOU, are in africa helping with civil wars, disease outbreaks and famine?



I see those as bigger problems, but I cannot do anything about it, when I do stuff, is about things that I can do (and no, I am not part of Anonymous, I helped mostly with Brazil taxes problems... or tried to help :/)

Alan Rimkeit
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Then they should fight the Chinese government Maurício. Or the Iranians. The list goes on and on. Sorry, but America and Spain are not really that high on the list for Internet persecution.

Jose Talbott
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sorry didn't mean to post here Alan

Jose Talbott
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Nope soldiers fight for freedom, these guys are a terrorist groups that steal people money.



Not all information is free some is private like SS # CC# ect... and should not be taken by a unauthorized stranger whenever they want.

Jose Talbott
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Exactly Alan

Eric Cartman
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I think your definition of terrorist is a little too broad, Jose.

Andrew Grapsas
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I'm seriously doubtful these guys are who the Spanish government is claiming they are. If you can hide your tracks during a real intrusion, you can hide your tracks in a chatroom easily enough. They've also shown no evidence that they're part of anything having to do with PSN, only that they were talking about doing "something" to various Spanish systems on an Anon-related IRC.



Bit iffy. We'll see as more details emerge.



Also, the "according to a report" link just points back to this article :)

Ardney Carter
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Slightly off topic but this is the 2nd time I've seen a reference to a "Nintendo hack" in a Gamasutra article but in both cases there was no link. Did that news not get reported on Gama or did I just miss it?



[edit] thanks for adding the link.

Francisco Javier Espejo Gargallo
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The Spanish government is trying to kill anyone promoting the 15M Real democracy movement, and the anonymous group there in Spain is doing a nice job promoting the 15M. What you read about the people arrested is a mere excuse to take out from activity the protesters in my country, which indeed is an horrible attitude from the government!



BTW, they are free now.

http://www.eleconomista.es/espana/noticias/3145118/06/11/Los-tres
-presuntos-miembros-de-Anonymous-detenidos-hoy-han-sido-ya-puesto
s-en-libertad.html



As I explained before, this is bullshit. The people who's in the 15M is suffering that kind of attacks from the government/police.

Bryan Wagstaff
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Interesting to see the comments from the BIT. I'm guessing (as others have pointed out) that they simply didn't have enough evidence or the three were skript-kiddies just posting big names on a public channel.



If the various Spanish news reports are correct and these three were just pushing for regime change and not committing real crimes, the police were really out of line and deserve the additional negative press.



Those who were smart enough to actually run the attacks are probably also smart enough to not discuss their plans publicly. It's sad when people turn their brains to criminal activity.

Andrew Hopper
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The fact that Spain still think Anonymous is a "group" and that the same Anonymous is behind all these attacks tells you how little Spain actually knows. Of course, lumping all Anonymous groups together is a great way to associate them with terrorists and persecute them, am I right?

Arnaud Clermonté
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They proudly presented themselves as a one group in the first place.

Andrew Hopper
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I'M SPARTACUS!

Ethan Tonelli
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Anonymous is completely unique and different every day. People fail to realize that the collective changes all the time and thus Anonymous at 3am on a Saturday can't take the blame for something Anonymous did 12 hours prior.

Amy Austin
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Until it becomes a legal form of "protesting" (protesting, yeah right) it is a form of terrorism. Strapping a bomb to ones chest or building one into one's car/ truck/ van/ airplane isn't the only kind of terrorism. Taking down networks and pillaging people's personal information, and going so far as to post said information to a torrent site, has always been and still is against the law. These guys aren't mercenaries, they aren't "fighting the good fight" they are a bunch of nerds who are cowardly enough to remain anonymous, even using computer voices as their own when they do their press releases. If they were real men they'd stand up and take credit. Hell, even BinLaden went on television after 9/11 and showed his face while taking the credit.

Tiago Raposo
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To the pro-hacking comments up there, I firmly believe (and many will agree) that disrupting, stealing, just plain being anarchic is being childish. Seriously, what's the difference between hacking a system to force them to change their minds about something, from the kid that breaks the tv to get his ice-cream?



Hacking is a crime, you're invading private systems, breaking through doors, and just saying to the world you don't have the arguments to back up your requests.



Form a serious group, make it big, discuss the matter, and then call those people to *talk* about the issue. That's most of the time more effective than just breaking stuff (and doesn't get anyone in jail).

Maurício Gomes
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I think you are delusional.



If only talking worked, wars would not exist.

Tiago Raposo
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Wars only happen when one of the sides decides not to talk.

Maurício Gomes
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Exactly.



Then the other is forced to not talk too.



Anonymous point is exactly that. They started when Scientology instead of talking, decided to censor Tom Cruise, and a flurry of others.



Right now, they are engaged in the Arab Spring and Europe Revolution (and for some reason, the Europe Revolution is not being reported in the news...)



The crime of the 3 arrested, was help the spanish protesters. (and if you look up on the comments here, they are already released).

Andrew Grapsas
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I'm not sure anyone has had an pro-hacking comments anywhere in this thread. Indeed, I believe there's more a focus on not using hackers as scapegoats and red herrings.



Rebellion is good in so long as it shapes a new avenue of thought. Rebellion without presenting new ways of thinking is just staying within the control of the existing boundaries.

Aubrey Tennant
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Whenever the institutions in charge of upholding the law act unjustly, even in small amounts, people lose faith. Eventually they take the law into they're own hands. This may or may not be a solution but it is going to happen especially when one thinks of whose interests organizations like NATO are protecting (ours indirectly but mostly the rich and powerful). Unfortunately, Anonymous is just as capable of being corrupt as the big organizations. But I'm going to keep the dream alive that there are a large number of tech savvy geeks who occasionally use they're powers for good out there. It makes life more exciting even if I have to pay more for PSN.

Evan Combs
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ditto

Aubrey Tennant
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Hack the planet.

Kamruz Moslemi
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They are about to experience getting hacked first hand, only this time by their burly cell mates.

Dave Smith
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only in the world of internet hacking are white collar criminal scumbags like this considered freedom fighters.

Maurício Gomes
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So... promoting protests against a corrupt government is a crime?



I do not get it.





Unless you are really believing the initial reports that they are the PSN hackers (they aren't).

Robert Gill
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Sorry. When we are out freedom fighting, I forget to wash sometimes ;)

Aaron Eastburn
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Ok, This maybe coming in kind of late, but... The three apparently had nothing to do with the break-in and CC theft. From the Reuters article:



"Spanish police alleged the three "hacktivists" helped organize an attack that temporarily shuttered access to some Sony websites. They were not linked to two massive cyber attacks against Sony's Playstation Network that resulted in the theft of information from more than 100 million customers."



So I am kinda on the fence about a DDoS attack. After all there are a number of methods of preventing it and/or minimizing the damage from a DDoS. So to some degree it would seem that companies whose business model revolves around online play would do well to invest in anti-DDoS countermeasures as well as anti-intrusion countermeasures. On the other hand Anonymous willingly enacted their plan to inconvenience Sony with a DDoS attack so they deserve all the glory and blame that goes along with it!

Abel Bascunana Pons
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For those who don't know what is happening with the 15-M Movement in Spain, that's how the police in Barcelona tried to end with a pacific manifestation alledging they wanted to allow a path for the cleaning trucks on Catalunya Square: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Geg_6Xoy04s



The SINDE law in Spain, that wants to terminate file-sharing, was supposedly instigated by the US according to Wikileaks. The people revealed against it the first time they tried to approve it, so it was posponed and approved two weeks later at people's backs. That's how defective democracy is when it defends big lobbies interests.



I also suppose that you are aware of whats happening with Monsanto in the US and across all other countries (due to modified seeds that pollynize natural seeds, the latter lose their natural purity, and can't ever be recovered, and how Montsant sues small agricultors because the wind carries their modified seeds to other farmer's fields, when these families have been harvesting natural crops for generations... by the way, Kellog's didn't want to tell Interantional Ammesty if the use modified crops in their products...). There are no investigations against Monsanto 'cos they have important ex-employees working at the Agriculture and Environment US Government Depts.



For these kind of companies that commit crimes against the whole humanity, i'm content that hackers can do something to minimize their impact, as these powers that be are playing with their own rules with total impunity thanks to these "laws" tailored by-and-to-them (to avoid misunderstandings, i'm not justifying attacks to Sony here, though i think they committed a mistake purposedly converting GeoHotz case in a public witch hunt to instigate fear in others that would think of hacking their devices, it was logic this provoked a strong reaction against them).



And of course in Spain, our dear banks use our money to invest in weapons bussiness, like BBVA or Banco Santander. These are the things that the 15-M movement wants to change. Because you know that Island citizens managed to change the laws right? the lack of news about it shows how controlled media is by large corporations, they don't want people to know about it, imagine such popular rebellion grand scale were they could not create artificial wars anymore to feed their business or increase the warehouse prices a 400% in 3 years, to name a few.



To end this, i remember now the World Health Organization ruckus some years ago when they declared the last flu as a pandemia, when according to their own definition at their website there needs to be many thousands of affected to be considered as pandemia, when there were only a few hundred official cases diagnosed. When they declare something a pandemia, countries are obligued to buy vaccines by a certain agreement... to whom? pharmaceutical lobbies of course. Many governments, Spanish included, spent hundreds of millions of euros in unused vaccines in the end. These millions, as many others withdrawn with such technocratic methods, could have served to alleviate the crisis we are living in Spain since 4 years ago.



That's the stuff that the 15-M movement wants to change, and it would be good that people would try to get rid of these innoculed capitalist egoism aside certain moments during the day to think about these questions. Our capacity of empathy has been atrofied by many reasons.

Todd Boyd
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I call bullshit. If they're hacking into corporate networks, they would have (at the least) PGP-encrypted IRC sessions.


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