Recently there was a lot of news about alleged members of Anonymous getting arrested by the FBI across America. 40 search warrants were served against people accused of attacking Paypal from a list, provided by the company, of one-thousand IP addresses carrying the most traffic during the time period of Anonymous’ “Operation Payback”. Wired also has the affidavit from the July 19th search of a couple from Arlington, Texas and their son which includes the ability to seize electronic devices either allegedly used in the attack or contains evidence of the attack.
The importance of living up to your name.
While these searches did not necessarily lead to arrests and were with warrant the concept of linking an IP address with a person is often hotly debated. The “LOIC” tool, a program designed to direct a large amount of traffic at a computer often with the intent of diluting system resources from what the computer is supposed to do, gets its name from the Command and Conquer super weapon, the Low Orbit Ion Cannon. In many cases, traffic from LOIC is easily identifiable as it contains vanity strings as its attack payload and often comes from the user’s personal IP address (not very anonymous); that said, there is nothing to say that the same effects could not be caused by one person controlling an army of a thousand or more virus-infected computers. While I am not commenting on the situations themselves, I do hope that the FBI had more evidence for their 40 warrants than just a random selection of addresses on that list.