Spanish authorities said they arrested three people in connection with a hack that accessed the personal information of thousands of PlayStation users.
Spain's El Pais reports that during a press conference, officials from the country's Technology Investigation Brigade said the three men arrested in Almería, Alicante and Barcelona were members of the group Anonymous. They were, police said, administrators of the chat rooms that the group uses to organize international cyber attacks.
The paper reports:
The three arrested in Spain are accused of participating in international attacks on the webpages of Sony's Playstation store, the bank BBVA and Bankia, the Italian company ENEL and the government webpages of Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Iran, Chile, Colombia and New Zealand. The massive attack against Sony forced the company to close its Playstation site last April. The attack has cost the company some $172 million in damage.
CNet reports on a bit of the investigation's background:
The investigation began last October after the site for the Spanish Ministry of Culture was hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in protest of Spanish legislation targeting illegal downloads. Police say their raids turned up software used to make malware and sophisticated encryption tools, as well as a program called LOIC, which the hackers used to carry out DDoS campaigns. Via their Twitter feed, police also posted the below screen capture from an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) room, which they claim shows the group's targets.
As we've reported, before, whether Anonymous was behind the Sony attacks has made for great mystery. The group has issued press releases denying any involvement. But single members of the group have told different media organizations that Anonymous was behind the attacks.