After 32 raids across Italy (and one in Switzerland), 15 alleged members of Anonymous have been arrested. The detainees, aged between 15 and 28 with five under 18, have been accused of performing denial of service attacks on Italian Web sites belonging to the government, and on both state and private broadcasters.
The Italian authorities are describing one of the suspects, a 26-year-old Swiss-Italian going by the monkier “Phre,” as a “leader” of the hacking group. A further 30 suspects are still being sought.
As was the case with the Anonymous arrests in Spain and Turkey, the AnonOps faction within Anonymous has been swift to both promise revenge and dismiss claims that there are “leaders” of the group.
The AnonOps response ends with a call to arms for other Italian Anons, imploring them to “Let [the government] have it, stronger than ever.” In Italy, as with Spain before it, further denial of service attacks are likely to be the chosen response.
In spite of the arrests, hacking under the Anonymous banner continues unabated. The “Anti-Security” movement, promoted by breakaway Anonymous faction Lulz Security, and subsequently picked up by Anonymous after LulzSec returned to the fold, has resulted in the compromise of numerous poorly secured Web servers around the world. Over the past few days, AntiSec hacks have included huge numbers of defacements of Turkish websites—a few dozen government sites here, a thousand here, and another few hundred here, database dumps from 20 Italian universities, and futher attacks on the Arizona Department of Public Safety.