It looks like the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s been especially busy over the past 48 hours, because they’re suddenly snatching up alleged members of hack collectives LulzSec and Anonymous across the United States.
According to FoxNews.com, the F.B.I. arrested two members allegedly affiliated with LulzSec and Anonymous yesterday morning—one in San Francisco, one in Phoenix—while a third suspect was charged in Ohio.
Add Minnesota, Montana and New Jersey to the state roster: an F.B.I. official toward FoxNews.com Thursday that search warrants were underway in those states, too.
The arrested? According to a federal indictment, 23-year-old Cody Kretsinger of Phoenix, charged with conspiring to cause damage to a computer without authorization. Kretsinger allegedly used a virtual private service to probe Sony Pictures’ computer systems for vulnerabilities, launched a SQL injection attack against said computers, stole confidential information in the process, handed it over to other members of LulzSec, publicized the attack, posted information from the attack online, then wiped the hard drive of the computer used to conduct the attack clean.
The other two arrested—Christopher Doyon, 47, from Mountain View, California and Joshua Covelli, 26, from Fairborn, Ohio—were charged with conspiring to damage computers and eventually putting paid to that conspiracy. They allegedly executed a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack against Santa Cruz County, California’s computer systems last year.
The F.B.I.’s Los Angeles branch also told FoxNews.com it had arrested a member of Anonymous in San Francisco, that the suspect was homeless and had participated in the Santa Cruz County hack attacks.
Assuming any of these allegations and arrests go somewhere, so much for anonymity—like most stings, these probably took months (or even years) to develop, so while LulzSec and Anonymous may have enjoyed the spotlight (in particular, over the past several months) and a sense of impunity, it sounds like their eventual unmasking, given the deterministic, ultimately trackable nature of the Internet, was all but inevitable.