Reports indicate that Romanian Department for Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) conducted a series of raids resulting in the arrest of twelve suspected members of the Romanian faction of the rogue movement Anonymous.
The operation included the search of homes in Bucharest, Iasi, Alba Iulia, Piatra Neamt, Cluj Napoca, Turnu Severin, Arad, Craiova and Targu Mures Resita.
Gabriel Balaneasa, who goes by the handles "lulzcart", "carman", "anonsweb", and "anonsboat" and is thought to be the Romanian group's ringleader, was among those detained by authorities.
The group is believed to be responsible for at least twenty-nine separate attacks, including those targeting several government websites, by mainly using a SQL injection technique.
The suspects are likely to be charged with a variety of offenses including illegal access to computer systems and the misuse of confidential data, according to reports.
The group claimed to have exposed government corruption and ethics violations.
In an interview prior to his arrest, Balaneasa characterized the groups efforts as a form of online protest.
“The Anonymous community is not just about hacking, but hacking is an online method of protest against corrupt governments and corporations, and sometimes this method exposes interesting things, things that most of ppl can't see,” he said.
When asked about the threat of arrest, Balaneasa said: "Romanian authorities (most of them) are just too stupid. I wonder what else they are taking seriously, besides hacking. What are we doing wrong? Is exposing corruption a bad thing? Or better said, attempts to expose corruption. Things they are fighting against two. Of course, the method used is not so "legal", but [expletive] dudes? We ain't hacking authorities’ home PC's to expose their holiday photos and stuff. But sure this is a bad thing...wonder why?"
"There is a lot of corruption among Romanian authorities, and surely they will not agree with the idea and fight against us. There are many examples out there, no need to expand this discussion, most ppl know what 'Romanian authorities' are capable of. Afraid? NEVER. We will fight to the end. And to be honest, all they will 'catch' may be clips of themselves sucking their own finger," he continued.