Italian ‘Tango Down’ operation arrests 4 Anonymous hackers
The suspects have been placed under house arrest for the time
being while searches are conducted on their respective properties.
The operation, named ‘Tango Down’ by Italian police, was a
countrywide crackdown led by the General Public Prosecutor's Office
Italian police released a statement saying the four individuals were part of the hacktivist movement and were responsible for attacks on Italian government bodies and the Vatican. However, investigators added that the group also carried out criminal activities using the name of Anonymous as a mask to hide behind.
“We have demonstrated that this branch of Anonymous Italy was a criminal organization that used the name of Anonymous as a pretext to carry out their own activities that are not connected to the political agenda of the Anonymous movement in other parts of the world,” said the police statement.
According to police information the four individuals hacked into businesses, only to then contact them and sell their own IT solutions as anti-virus software.
Anonymous has yet to make a statement regarding the arrest of the four individuals.
Last year the Vatican’s website was taken down by the hacktivist group who cited the “corruption” of the Roman Catholic Church as the principle motivation for the cyber-assault.
"Anonymous decided today to besiege your site in response to the doctrine, to the liturgies, to the absurd and anachronistic concepts that your for-profit organization spreads around the world,” said a statement posted on the Italian website of the Anonymous movement.
"This attack is not against the Christian religion or the faithful around the world but against the corrupt Roman Apostolic Church."
Anonymous rose to prominence in late 2010 when it executed a series of cyber-attacks against companies that were trying to prevent the disclosure of information by whistleblowing site WikiLeaks.
More recently the group has carried out attacks on Israeli government websites and shut down media accounts and official sites in North Korea.