Hackers arrested over ‘Operation Payback’ DDOS attacks

15 Dec 2010

Several people, including two teenagers in Holland, have been arrested over their alleged involvement in ‘Operation Payback’ denial of service attacks that were spurred by the arrest in London of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange.

Groups led by Anonymous took part in ‘Operation Payback’ attacks on sites perceived to have caved in to pressure from the US Government to deny technological or fiscal support for WikiLeaks. These groups have been dubbed ‘Assange’s silent army.’

These include Amazon.com, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and even US tabloid blog Gawker fell prey to a hacking incident.


A designer named Alex Tapanaris was arrested after authorities found his name embedded in the metadata of PDF press releases issued by Anonymous.

Several other individuals were arrested in Holland after police were able to discover similar information in the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) software used to make DDOS attacks on servers.

In Holland two teenagers – a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old – were arrested. The 16-year-old was arrested for his alleged involvement in Operation Payback while the 19-year-old was arrested for his alleged involvement in an attack on the Dutch Attorney General’s website.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years