Four arrested anons hijacked Anonymous franchise

In a somewhat unusual announcement, the Italian police seemed to distance those arrested from mainstream Anonymous. Investigators claimed that they had become a dominant cell within Anonymous Italy through dubious methods, more akin to criminals than political activists. 

“They were like a cancerous cell within the Anonymous organization”, said Ivano Gabrielli, a deputy police chief at the National Center for Computer Crime and the Protection of Critical Infrastructure (CNAIPIC), as reported by PC World. “They had taken over the brand and were using it for their own personal benefit,” Gabrielli said in a telephone interview. “It was a vanguard cell that was carving out a position of power at the head of Anonymous Italy. That’s somewhat anomalous in a supposedly anarchic structure.” 

So far, four individuals have been arrested, aged between 20 and 34; but another six have been formally placed under investigation. 

Whether those arrested are mainstream Anonymous, simple criminals, or a mix of the two, is unclear. It is suggested that some of those concerned are IT professionals who would first cause damage, and then offer to repair the damage that they had caused themselves. Either way, "The hackers arrested are thought to be responsible for attacks on websites belonging to the government, the Vatican and Parliament," reports Italy's Corriere Della Sera; which have all been Anonymous targets in the past.

If labeling those arrested as 'a cancerous cell within the Anonymous organization' was an attempt to fend of reprisals from other members, it clearly didn't work. Other members of Anonymous responded yesterday with their own tango down. "The official website of the Court of Rome was shut down Monday after members of the 'hacktivist' network Anonymous said they broke into its computer system," reports

"Do you think you have cut off head? We are still alive and will continue to follow our ideals," announced the group on Facebook.

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