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Turkey arrests 32 after Anonymous' Web attacks

The government says those detained were connected with the hacktivist group's protest attack on Turkish Web sites last week.

Anonymous coordinated an attack on Turkish government Web sites on Friday to protest censorship.
Anonymous coordinated an attack on Turkish government Web sites on Friday to protest censorship.
screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

After hacker group Anonymous' apparently successful Operation Turkey to protest Internet censorship, the country's authorities have detained 32 people in connection with the attack on Turkish government Web sites.

After Friday's attack, Turkey's telecommunications authorities investigated and took the people into custody, according to a report today by Turkey's state news agency. Eight of those detained were under 18 years old, the report said.

The arrests come just days after Spain said Friday it arrested three Anonymous hackers in connection with attacks on Sony's PlayStation Network, governments, banks, and others. Retribution followed quickly, with an Anonymous attack that reportedly took a Spanish police off the Net.

The attacks take the form of a distributed denial of service (DDoS), which involves a coordinated flooding of a Web site with traffic with specially crafted network tools.

Security firm Sophos, though, said the Turkish attackers apparently used an attack tool called LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) that isn't terribly anonymous.

"LOIC...doesn't do a very good job of covering your tracks--making it potentially easy for computer crime authorities to track those behind the attacks," said Sophos' Graham Cluley.

A loose group of angry hacktivists is only one force spotlighting the Net's vulnerabilities today. The International Monetary Fund suffered what was reported over the weekend to be a major network breach. Google said it disrupted a plan the company said originated from China to break into Gmail accounts. It's open season for hackers.

One person's illicit hacker might be another person's sanctioned military authority, though. The United States and United Kingdom increasingly talk of cyberwar as just a facet of ordinary war.