UPDATE: Authorities have arrested 14 people today in the United States in connection with hacking attacks by the Anonymous group of online activists, sources said. The arrests follow raids earlier in the day on homes in New York, California, New Jersey, and Florida, a law enforcement source told CBS News.
* * *
Fox News' Jana Winter reports that the FBI has executed several search warrants in the New York area in relation to an ongoing investigation into the the activities of hacktivists believed to be part of the Anonymous movement.
The FBI raided three homes searching for computer equipment and are reported to have confiscated at least one laptop computer from the Long Island residence of Giordani Jordan.
Officials told Fox News that Jordan's computer was known to have been used to coordinate several distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against multiple companies, though no more specifics were made available.
Agents also conducted searches of another Long Island home and a Brooklyn residence in connection with the investigation.
A message posted on Twitter shortly after the arrests and purported to be from an Anonymous supporter stated: "It doesn't matter how many people the 'FBI' arrest. Whether they are core members or not. #anonymous have started something unstoppable."
Earlier this month Italian authorities had conducted 31 raids connected to investigations into recent hacks and attacks claimed by the hacker collective, including operations targeting the Italian government.
Reports stated that Italian authorities are actively seeking several dozen more suspects in connection with attacks against the Italian legislature and AGCOM, the national communications regulatory agency.
LulzSec is reported to have conducted a successful attacks against the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Senate website, PBS, as well as networks belonging to the Atlanta chapter of FBI affiliate InfraGard. LulzSec also claims to have also hacked Sony Pictures, Sony Entertainment and Sony BMG, among others.
Previously, Anonymous gained attention for DDoS attacks against PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, PostFinance Bank, Amazon, Bank of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website, and for having breached the systems of security consultants HBGary Federal.
“We live in a world of globalization and technology, so even small groups now have the ability to project themselves around the world, in terms of presence, communications and travel… and build bigger and more destructive tools and weapons, and unleash them," Chertoff said.