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As of 1:20 EST today, The Atlantic Wire reports an FBI official has stated there have been raids and arrests of multiple individuals at multiple locations nationwide. Later reports from CBS/AP pegged the arrest number at 14, and report “FBI agents conducted raids at four New York residences as well as locations in California, New Jersey and Florida.” The raids included seizure of computers and related equipment. Reports are still coming in, and the Bureau is expected to make an official announcement shortly.
Already, the wires are abuzz with the usual questions about whether the arrests were made of legitimate core group members, or a show of force leveled at more peripheral targets. What is clear is the FBI will soon be front-and-center in the spotlight, and will hopefully be forthcoming with evidence showing if they were, indeed, members of the group. The larger question is whether the ideas and tactics will continue fresh in the mind of other aspiring “hacktivists” in the form of backlash, or whether this will have a cooling off effect on this, and other efforts. The coming events will tell.
Update: news release from Department of Justice posted here
Author Cameron Camp, ESET