British Police Arrest Two More Anonymous Hacker Suspects

Scotland Yard arrested a 24-year-old and a 20-year-old at two separate U.K. addresses in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, and Warminster, Wiltshire, on suspicion of committing crimes under Britain’s Computer Misuse Act, according to Britain’s The Guardian. Both men remained in custody Thursday at stations in South Yorkshire and London.

“The arrests relate to our inquiries into a series of serious computer intrusion and online denial-of-service attacks recently suffered by a number of multi-national companies, public institutions and government and law enforcement agencies in Great Britain and the United States,” said Mark Raymond, detective inspector at the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit, The Guardian reported. “We are working to detect and bring before the courts those responsible for these offenses, to disrupt such groups, and to deter others thinking of participating in this type of criminal activity."

The arrests were the latest conducted as part of an ongoing trans-Atlantic investigation involving the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies.

Earlier Thursday, British police arrested 20-year-old Christopher Weatherhead, from Northampton, and Ashley Rhodes, 26, from London, charging both individuals with computer crimes.

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Also as part of the same crackdown, two other suspects -- 22-year-old Peter Bigson, as well as a 17-year-old from Chester -- have already been arrested and charged with computer crimes, which allegedly included cyber attacks against PayPal, Amazon, MasterCard , Bank of America and Visa.

During the last four months, members of the hacker collective Anonymous and LulzSec have wreaked havoc with attacks on high-profile corporations, governments and law enforcement agencies, including Sony Pictures , the CIA , the U.S. Senate , NATO , and a slew of others. The cyber attacks continued Friday when hackers published internal e-mails and sensitive documents belonging to 28 police chiefs in Texas, according to the New York Daily News.

Meanwhile in recent months, law enforcement agencies have attempted to crack down on the largely unpredictable attacks, including a major police sting that resulted in the arrest of 14 Anonymous members in the U.S. as well as other arrests in Turkey .

At least one of the arrests appears to be in connection with an Anonymous hacker who goes by the handle “Kayla.” Similar to renowned Anonymous hackers Sabu and Tobiary, elusive hacker Kayla is considered one of the key figures and driving forces behind the Anonymous and LulzSec hacks.

Kayla’s apparent role as a prime Anonymous hacker might seem at odds with the online persona. “Kayla—who has claimed involvement in the hack against security firm HBGary—has presented herself online to be a giggly 16-year-old girl,” said Graham Cluley, Sophos senior technology consultant, in a blog post,. He wrote that while Kayla has given press interviews, the hacker has continually declined to confirm “her” identity via Skype.

“Many eyes will no doubt be on Kayla’s Twitter account to see if any messages are posted following these most recent arrests,” Cluley said.