Anonymous apparently target of sweeping FBI crackdown

Anonymous members in three states were reportedly rounded up by the FBI today.

Anonymous appears to be the target of a major FBI crackdown.

Last time we checked in with the rascals over at the loosely-confederated hacker gang Anonymous, they were busting their way into an Arizona police department site, and sending a "strong message to the ruling class around the world." Today, they are in handcuffs. According to a series of reports from Fox News and CBS, the FBI launched a major raid on the homes of alleged Anonymous members in New York, California, and New Jersey.

At least 16 alleged hackers have apparently been arrested. "I can confirm that we’re conducting law enforcement actions relating to a criminal investigation," Alicia Sensibaugh, a spokeswoman for FBI’s San Francisco office, told Fox News today. Additional information remains vague, at best, although Fox has reported that the FBI has removed plenty of computer equipment from the home of one Long Island man.

The crackdown comes on the heels of the arrest of Ryan Cleary, a 19-year-old British man suspected of various cyber crimes, including assaults on major US and UK government sites. "[T]he investigation into [Cleary's] activities was being driven by the FBI, and it seems likely they will want to have him extradited to the US so they can question him about attacks on American websites," a source told the Daily Telegraph at the time.

In related news, LulzSec appears to be back in action. Yesterday, the ostensibly-defunct hacker collective managed to redirect traffic from the UK tabloid The Sun to a fake site, which carried a fake obituary for News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch. Later, LulzSec operatives redirected traffic again – this time from the Sun to the LulzSec Twitter feed. "Hello, everyone that wanted to visit The Sun!" read one tweet. "How is your day? Good? Good!"

More on the Anonymous arrests when we know it. In the meantime, it's worth noting that many security consultants believe that Anonymous is more bark than bite – although hackers associated with the group have been very noisy in recent weeks, both on Twitter and in messages posted to file-sharing sites such as Pirate Bay. Is the FBI just making an example out of Anonymous?

Let us know what you think. We're listening.

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