Seven people suspected of being part of hacker group ‘Anonymous Portugal’ were arrested by PJ police this morning (February 26) in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto.
The suspects, aged between 17 and 40, are accused of several crimes including cyber terrorism and were arrested following an investigation that started in April last year.
One of the detained is Rui Cruz, the founder of Portugal’s tugaleaks site (the so-called national equivalent to Wikileaks), reports Correio da Manhã.
Fourteen people have also been named ‘arguidos’ (suspects).
The police investigation, codename C4R3T0S (Caretos), included 24 house searches which led to the confiscation of a number of computer systems which will now be investigated.
‘Anonymous Portugal’ exists since 2011 and the group is said to be responsible for a number of cyber attacks on public and private entities, such as the Public Ministry, PSP and GNR police and even the Patriarch of Lisbon. Confidential data was then leaked onto the internet.
As the Resident reported last year (see story https://www.portugalresident.com/%E2%80%98anonymous-portugal%E2%80%99-targets-police-forces), ‘Anonymous’ was able to hack its way to a list of more than 300 undercover police vehicles used in traffic operations up and down the country which it then leaked online.
A month earlier, the hackers had already created cyber chaos, blacking out numerous sites, including the homepages of the Public Ministry, PJ police and CDS political party.
As the group uses foreign servers, the authorities had a difficult task getting to the suspects.
By MICHAEL BRUXO [email protected]