Six people suspected of being part of the Anonymous cell in the Dominican Republic were arrested this Sunday in the capital Santo Domingo, as part of Operation Unmask, an international effort to fight cybercrime, supported by Interpol.
A judge has ordered four of the suspects to be held in jail for three months during an investigation of their activities, according to the Washington Post. The other two are minors and face a different court. No charges have been filed, but the Dominican legal system allows for preventive detention.
The suspects – Zerohack (Milton Corniell David Jimenez), Nmap (Juan Rafael Leonardo Acosta), Mot (Cristian de la Rosa Jose de los Santos) and Frank-Ostia (Robert Reynoso Delgado) – are aged between 17 and 40.
Launched in mid-February, Operation Unmask has already seen involvement of national law enforcement officers in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain, resulting in 25 arrests. It was a response to a series of coordinated cyber-attacks originating from these counties, targeted at the Colombian Ministry of Defence and presidential websites, as well as Chile’s Endesa electricity company and its National Library.
In the first phase of the operation, some 250 items of IT equipment were seized during searches of 40 premises across 15 cities. Payment cards and cash were also confiscated, as part of an investigation into the funding of activities carried out by the suspected hackers.
The latest phase of the operation in the Dominican Republic came in the wake of hacktivist attacks against various governmental websites, as well as companies in the private sector.
If past experiences are anything to go by, revenge for the imprisoned comrades will swiftly follow. In June last year, Anonymous carried out a DDoS attack on the Spanish police website following the arrest of three alleged hackers in Spain. In August, LulzSec and Anonymous had published stolen US police data in response to prominent member Topiary’s arrest in the UK. More recently, the group has attacked anti-virus vendor Panda Security because of its alleged role in the arrests of five LulzSec members.
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