Today, the FBI launched a number of raids pertaining to Anonymous DDOS attacks and has reportedly made 14 arrests nationwide. Arrests were made in New York, California, New Jersey and Florida and four of the raids in New York (Brooklyn, the Bronx, as well as Baldwin and Merrick on Long Island) resulted in the seizure of personal computers thought to have been used in the attacks.
This isn’t the first time hackers, or specifically, suspected Anonymous members have been arrested. Five Anonymous-related arrests were made back in January, Ryan Cleary, a suspected Lulzsec affiliate, was arrested about a month ago, and three men suspected of ties to Anonymous were arrested in Spain a few weeks prior to that. Still, this is the largest push to arrest Anonymous affiliated hackers in the U.S. to date.
Anonymous, by virtue of being a decentralized and well, anonymous organization, is unlikely to bend or break as a result of legal pressure and arrests. In fact, Anonymous has a history of being riled up by these sorts of things. Regardless, the fact that warrants have been issued and arrests have been made en masse suggests that perhaps members are not as anonymous as they think they are/contend to be. But it’s likely that they are in fact legion, which could make it difficult for the FBI to hurt their numbers through arrests. It also remains to be seen whether or not charges related to the DDOS attacks will stick. Either way, this serves as a de facto statement by the FBI that they are trying get this problem under control, and that they’re managing to find enough evidence to obtain warrants. Whether this scares other Anons, baits them into reckless attacks, or simply makes them more cautious is, for the moment, up for debate.