The Dutch authorities have made the first arrest over the DDoS attacks carried out against financial organizations in support of Wikileaks – and already Anonymous has responded.
The suspect doesn’t sound much like a sinister mastermind intent on destroying the world – he’s a 16-year-old boy, says the National Prosecutor’s Office.
But he’s believed to be a member of the notorious Anonymous 4Chan group which has been attacking the websites of everyone from Amazon to VISA over the last few days after they refused to continue dealing with the whistle-blowing website. The onslaught has been named Operation Payback by its organizers.
Dutch authorities say they became aware very quickly that some of the attacks were originating from the Netherlands – indeed, the site which appeared to be organizing the attacks, anonops.net, was hosted in the country until its closure two days ago.
The police say they were able to track the boy down almost immediately. He was arrested last night, and computer equipment seized.
“The boy is now in police custody and being interrogated by detectives from the High Tech Crime Team,” says the Prosecutor’s Office. “He has made a confession about attacks on MasterCard and Visa. The boy is probably part of a larger group of hackers, of whom investigation continues.”
The boy, who hasn’t been named, will appear before a judge in Rotterdam later today.
In the hours since the arrest, Anonlymous has, rather predictably, launched DDoS attacks against the websites of the Dutch Police and the National Prosecutor’s Office and has successded in forcing them both temporarily online – although both sites were available at the time of writing.