Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Hacktivists attack Spanish police website, arrested in Turkey
As expected, the hacktivist group that calls itself Anonymous launched a distributed denial of service attack against the National Police website of Spain over the weekend of June 11 in retribution for the arrest of three alleged members of the organization on June 10. The attack disrupted service at the site for about an hour.
The Spanish police have not attributed the outage in the early morning hours of June 12 to a DDoS attack, but Anonymous is claiming responsibility for it. In a declaration addressed to the Spanish government posted to the Internet, the group stated: "It has come to our attention that you deemed it necessary to arrest three of our fellow anons…which you claim to be the leaders of Anonymous and for their participation in DDoS attacks against various websites...."
"DDoSing is an act of peaceful protest on the Internet," it contended. "The activity is no different than sitting peacefully in front of a shop denying entry. Just as is the case with traditional forms of protest...."
"Regardless of how many times you are told, you refuse to understand," it added. "There are no leaders of Anonymous. Anonymous is not based on personal distinction...."
Meanwhile, following the lead of Spanish police, Turkish law enforcement authorities rounded up 32 suspected Anonymous members on June 13. Those arrests followed a DDoS attack on the website of Turkey's directorate of communications on June 9. Anonymous claimed that cyber assault was in protest of an Internet filtering system set to be launched in Turkey on August 22 — a system that the hacktivists consider to be Internet censorship.
Under the scheme, Internet users would be forced to choose among four filters for their use of cyberspace — domestic, family, children or standard. According to Anonymous, the new system allows the government to track all its citizens' Internet acitivty. "Though it remains opaque why and how the system will be put in place, it is clear that the government is taking censorship to the next level," it said in a statement.
According to a Twitter feed from the Spanish police, the three people they arrested were "leaders" of Anonymous and were responsible for cyber attacks on governments in Egypt, Algeria, Libya and Colombia.