(photo: exiledsurfer )

Widely reported yesterday was the arrest of sixteen individuals alleged to be members of the hacktivist group Anonymous, known engaging in cyber operations for political and social reasons. The FBI raided homes seizing computers and computer-related accessories. The Justice Department claimed fourteen of the individuals had been part of the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on PayPal back in December 2010, when PayPal suspended WikiLeaks’ accounts making it impossible for the organization to receive donations via PayPal.

The unsealed indictment accuses each of the various individuals arrested of conspiracy to commit intentional damage to a protected computer and aiding and abetting intentional damage to a protected computer.

The arrests were made possible because a San Jose federal grand jury that had been empanelled for months handed down indictments. The Department of Justice now seeks a fine and imprisonment for up to five years for those involved in the DDoS attacks.

The indictment claims defendants violated section 1030 of the US code by committing “fraud and related activity in connection with computers.”

The accusation for each person indicted reads the same:

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."