Wonder who was behind those crippling attacks on the PlayStation Network? (Separate from the continued attacks on Sony by Lulzsec, a flamboyant hacking group that publicizes its raids on Twitter.) Spanish police say they've got at least three of the hackers responsible for Sony's outages, pegging them as Anonymous.
You've no doubt heard of Anonymous by now: it's a group that's not a group, a loose collective of Internet "hacktivists" that uses computer attacks to make points and champion causes. High profile cyber-raids defending WikiLeaks and antagonizing Scientology put Anonymous on the map, and even NATO is now gunning for 'em.
Anonymous has since denied attacking Sony, though as a leaderless entity, its unofficial spokespeople could not say that elements of Anonymous were not at play in the raid.
Spanish police arrested the trio in Almeria, Barcelona and Alicante, three different cities in Spain, and say that the hackers were using a server in Gijon, in northern reaches of the country. Of course, it's easy to pin the Anonymous name to the three hackers, and the value of doing so is questionable anyhow, considering the structureless structure of an, uh, organization lacking organization.
Spanish police alleged the three arrested "hacktivists" had been involved in the recent attack on Sony's PlayStation online gaming store which crippled the service for over a month, as well as cyber-attacks on Spanish banks BBVA and Bankia and the Italian energy group Enel.
Anonymous members have faced legal action in both the U.S. and Britain, though this is the first time they will do so in Spain. The Spanish police don't consider this a closed case, meaning more arrests could be made.
Cyberwarfare is still something of an undiscovered country, and that's part of the reason why Anonymous's presence — and multitude of successful operations — rattles authorities. More than just shutting down a computer network or causing an interruption of service, cyber-attacks can cause actual physical damage, such as blowing something up. That last use is, at least, rather rare.