Three French hackers who are a part of the global hactivist group Anonymous are arrested by the French police. These three are accused of hacking the French government websites and leaking information of 541 police officers online thereby endangering these police officers and the security of the country.
A public prosecutor has asked to court to punish the three accused, aged between 22 years and 27 years of age by handing over a suspended sentence of one year of imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 Euros. The actual court ruling will be given by a criminal court on March 22nd 2016.
What was the incident?
In January 2012, the three accused, who claim affiliation to Anonymous hacked two government websites and blocked the access to these websites for the general public through a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. The three attackers stole data of 541 police officers. The collected data included the official and personal information of these cops and constituted details such as their email addresses, phone numbers and even residential addresses.
According to one of the defendant lawyers Matthieu Hy, the police are demanding a damage of 73,000 Euros. The leaked information has compromised their personal security as well as the security of the police department and the country. This data is available on the public domain over the internet and can also be accessed by terrorists easily. It has become even more critical since the attacks on Paris late last year.
Why did the accused attack police websites?
The data belonged to the police officers associated with SGP-FO. The three accused have stated that the attacks were in retaliation to the arrests of the various members of Anonymous by the police in France. Also, the United States Department of Justice, had at around this time effected the shutdown of Megaupload, a website that served as an online platform for storing data and resources for hackers. It was used by Anonymous for various DDoS attacks on government, police and civilian websites including Copyright websites.
The final verdict is still awaited and will be given by a criminal court on 22nd March.