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Scotland Yard Has Been After Anonymous For Months 278

jhernik writes "Scotland Yard has confirmed it has been investigating Anonymous since before the WikiLeaks wars broke out. The Metropolitan police has been investigating Internet vigilante group Anonymous, since well before its current online reprisals against companies not supporting WikiLeaks. 'Earlier this year, the Metropolitan police service received a number of allegations of denial of service cyber attacks againat several companies by a group calling itself Anonymous,' a police spokesman told eWEEK Europe UK. 'We are investigating these criminal allegations and our investigation is ongoing.'"
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Scotland Yard Has Been After Anonymous For Months

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  • Breaking news! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:56AM (#34572742)
    Police investigate crimes!
  • Re:Obligatory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:00AM (#34572778)
    Unless there's some sort of "Anonymous Hacking, LLC" I haven't hear of...

    There is, actually, more commonly known as "the entire human race".

    I'd like to know what kind of budget Scotland Yard is working with that they can investigate everyone on the planet.
  • "Anonymous" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:23AM (#34573018)

    So a bunch of Dunning-Kruger internet dumbshits download somebody else's half-arsed software to DDoS websites of powerful and well-connected people. And then wonder why they're getting rolled up by the police. Colour me surprised.

    For sixteen year olds, this is understandable -- it seems to be the optimum age for thinking you know everything while not actually knowing anything at all. Anybody else, well, you'll be old enough to serve time, which is just as well, because you probably deserve it for being so stupid.

    I do respect Anonymous for taking the fight to some very bad, otherwise-untouchable people, like the Scientologists, but at some point, if you don't use your brain and screw up, you have to accept the consequences. And I suspect that the only reason why half of Anonymous do what they do, is because they don't actually appreciate the danger of what they're doing.

  • by Magada ( 741361 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:24AM (#34573032) Journal

    Anybody can be a member, for any amount of time. There are no central lists, no membership many ways the organization doesn't exist, it;s a "dis-organization."

    That never stopped the United States from chasing Al-Qaeda all over the globe. It makes good sport for the hounds, really.

  • by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:27AM (#34573072)
    Scotland Yard isn't investigating "Anonymous". They're investigating the people involved in the DDoS attacks. If you're a member of Anonymous but you don't participate in attacks, you're alright because nobody knows who you are, or that you're even a member of Anonymous.

    However, the minute you start attacking, you are immediately identifiable.

    "lulz yeah but we r anonymus. we r legionz!!!1 omg for the first time in my life i can actually identify with something. cool! are there any lonely girls here???/"
    Protip: When you're on the internet, you are NOT anonymous. Most of Anonymous is just a bunch of teen-angst lemmings who will only join the DDoS effort if somebody puts up a Rapidshare link to the LOIC software. None of them have any kind of initiative to do it themselves.

    "i'm not gonna get caught. lulz, i'll use a proxy"
    Furthermore, because they're all just angsty, lonely, horny teenagers (and even some 20-somethings), they have no foresight. They have no clue that their IP address can and will identify them in most cases. If they use a proxy, they're just creating a bottleneck, slowing the DDoS effort and providing their target with a single IP to block for mitigation.

    "hey man, ip address is just a number, man... i'm not a number!"
    None of them realize that your IP address can and will be stripped from logs and submitted to RIRs and ISPs, and they will obtain your subscriber details (more likely your parent's details) through the legal system in your country of origin. An IP address is just a number when taken out of context, but when it's put IN context your IP is your identity on the internet, and it CAN be linked back to the real world.

    "Amazon kicked WikiLeaks off of their servers because BUSH... i mean, OBAMA... sent an executive order to Amazon telling them that he would personally torture their mothers if they didn't! OMG! Attack Amazon because they're a business that chooses not to do business with certain people!!!"
    The last thing humanity needs is a bunch of angsty teenagers throwing a fit because their favorite website has to change providers. WikiLeaks violated their contract with Amazon. It is a BUSINESS matter. Get the fuck over it, pick up your toys and go to school.

    Don't like what I'm saying? Then suppress my freedom of speech and DDoS me. My IP is And I'll even turn off my firewall for you.
  • Re:Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gerzel ( 240421 ) <brollyferret@gEI ... minus physicist> on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:28AM (#34573084) Journal

    The thing is Anonymous isn't as random as they like to claim. It is basically a group of more or less the same individuals, a large pool if you will. Dis-organised, or unorganized if you prefer, but defiantly not random. It is basically an internet based multi-national political party by another name.

    Much of the "You don't understand us. We are x, y and z." stuff is just tiresome hype.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <> on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:40AM (#34573234) Homepage Journal

    anonymous is a movement. as such, it follows certain sociological rules. #1: in any movement, there is a small group of core fanatics, and a large group of one-offs and on-and-offs. same with wikipedia, or al qaeda, or drug gangs

    now you could take out a portion of the core competency, and nothing will change. but if you tracked and profiled the core competency over time, and took them all out at once, you really would cripple the movement

    however, since the "cause" of anonymous is so simplistic, others would quickly fill the void and anonymous would be back in action in no time. again, same with wikipedia or al qaeda or drug gangs

    so scotland yard is only partially absurd, not completely absurd

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:41AM (#34573252)
    If Anonymous is made up of random people who care about the issue of the moment, how do you investigate them over time? I can't see how they would all care about the same things, as it's not like Anonymous hires people to do stuff.

    You start by collecting log files after each attack and correlating IP addresses. You log the 4chan groups & IRC chats and see if you can identify who is who. You sift through the attacker's IP addresses and see if identify some of the culprits and their ISPs. You install some of the remote control bots on some sample machines and analyse the traffic and its origins. Eventually you have info to go an execute some search warrants and take it from there depending on what you find.

    "Anonymous" probably has an inner circle of ring leaders who mostly know what they're doing. A larger circle of volunteers who probably don't and act as proxies / bots for attacks, and then a large number of 1-time / wannabes who get involved on the periphery and then leave. I believe an investigation is bound to identify a lot of people in the outer rings and probably a couple in the centre too. People will rat on each other too for a lesser sentence or a warning.

    Proving it is another matter of course, but people who think they're somehow immune from prosecution because they're in a large herd are deluding themselves. At the end of the day if you aided a DDOS attack and it can be proven, you're in deep shit.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @12:16PM (#34574630)
    I think you mean the New World Order []. The established powers certainly aren't going to let us spawn a competing system of governance.
  • Re:Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by definate ( 876684 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @12:56PM (#34575222)

    You think so? I've looked at a few of these, each time, and there's generally different people running it. While you might be passionate against Scientology, you might not be passionate about Iran, or Gene Simmons, or WikiLeaks, to name a few major ones.

    If you're not extremely passionate in each instance, and also have a lot of time on your hands, then you sure as hell won't be "controlling the botnets" every time. Hell, even based on a DDoS by DDoS basis, I've known a few people who were controlling one Scientology DDoS who weren't controlling the ones before or after.

    I think you think this group is far more cohesive than it is. Don't try to apply these old models of how groups/organizations work, for something like this, as these groups basically do permit you to come and go relatively as you please, and each new issue, allows for a new set of "group" "leaders". Your logic is akin to the United States treating "terrorists" as a cohesive group.

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <{richardprice} {at} {}> on Thursday December 16, 2010 @01:10PM (#34575448)
    The problem with that is the new definition of 'truth' that Wikipedia has created - that of there simply needing to be corroborating citations somewhere, regardless of how accurate those citations are. Citations prove nothing more than someone has made the same view or 'fact' public somehow.
  • Re:Trust No One! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eriqk ( 1902450 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @02:47PM (#34577158)

    They just like to fuck shit up. Not "fuck shit up for a good cause." Just "fuck shit up, and if it happens to be for a cause, whatever."

    Sometimes, that's all it takes.

  • Re:Trust No One! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by WhitetailKitten ( 866108 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @04:09PM (#34578714)

    So you've never heard of the innocent people whose lives anonymous has ruined, "for the lulz?"

    List names and dates of incidents, now. I'm calling you out on your vague bullshit. Provide hard facts about "ruined lives."

    I guess Chris Forcand sort of got his life ruined some by Anonymous. Then again, he was a pedophile that Anonymous turned in after pulling off a crowdsourced version of To Catch a Predator, minus the film crew.

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two. -- Seneca