32 Anonymous suspects arrested in Turkey

Filed Under: Denial of Service, Law & order, Malware

Anonymous maskTurkish police are reported to have detained 32 people in connection with internet attacks that have disrupted access to government websites.

Alleged members of the loosely-knit Anonymous hacktivist group were rounded up in 12 cities, including Ankara and Istanbul, just days after similar arrests of Anonymous suspects in Spain.

At the end of last week, in an attack that was dubbed "Operation Turkey", Anonymous supporters brought down Turkish government websites in protest against controversial plans by the authorities in the country to introduce internet filtering.

Anonymous statement

As the sites became inaccessible via the internet, Anonymous supporters weren't slow to celebrate their achievement on Twitter.

Anonymous tweet

The sites were brought down by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, with different computers around the world being deployed to bombard the sites with traffic using the LOIC attack tool.

However, LOIC (the name stands for Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and you can read more about it in a detailed analysis by Sophos's Vanja Svajcer) doesn't do a very good job of covering your tracks - making it potentially easy for computer crime authorities to track those behind the attacks.

My guess is that those who took part in the attacks are not in such a celebratory mood now that the Turkish authorities appear to have identified some of them.

Of course, it may not be the end of the story. After the arrest last week of suspected Spanish members of Anonymous, the online group threatened to launch a DDoS attack against Spanish police websites (something we also saw happen in the Netherlands after the arrest of a 16-year-old boy alleged to have been involved in a pro-WikiLeaks DDoS attack on a number of websites).

It certainly wouldn't be a surprise to hear about a retaliatory attack against Turkish websites also following these arrests.

The detained suspects have been taken to Ankara for questioning.

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5 Responses to 32 Anonymous suspects arrested in Turkey

  1. Don't take this the wrong way, I don't endorse DDoS attacks of this kind but what's the difference between this kind of protest against the government and a physical demonstration. They both create disruption but don't actually cause any harm.

    The government is supposed to work for the peoples interests (Who pay the taxes) they should have the right to protest against actions that they don't agree with.

  2. Dave · 1143 days ago

    In most democratic countries, Turkey being one of them, gov't websites are there to provide information and services to their citizens. Taking down the websites deprive the country's citizens of these services and cost tax dollars by creating inefficiencies and the need to fix the problem. Hacking and taking down these services are not legitimate forms of protests.

  3. Jackie in Dallas · 1143 days ago

    Websites in a country that block free access to information internationally, and which use repressive techniques to maintain control of their population are easy targets. While I agree that shutting down essential ones should be avoided, until and unless Anonymous can show that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, I think that Turkey is in for having their goose cooked electronically! Do I agree with the actions? Hmm. I'll give the same answer I did to my classmates on my way out to protest the Vietnam War in 1968-1971 -- if I don't say no by my protests, I am in effect saying yes by default. The worst enemy that positive change has is apathy and inaction.

  4. Name · 1141 days ago

    I just have to say this, because. If anyone's ever bothered to read anything about Anonymous, or what they do, they are NONPROFIT. Jeez. Maybe it's not the greatest way to do things, but they're doing SOMETHING. Unlike most of us, who just sit there, and act cool with all the failure going on like it's the latest trend. They have reasons for doing what they do, and they truly believe in their purpose. Can most people say that? No. I'm pretty sure people should just back off their case and leave them alone. They obviously don't like being trifled with, so why trifle?

  5. I agree with Name
    Anonymous believe it is right in a way cause they are backing up on things that is going on.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.