ROME — Italian police Tuesday detained 15 suspected members of an international hackers cabal called “Anonymous” blamed for several major online attacks, an Italian newspaper reported.
The suspected hackers, including five minors, were picked up by police, questioned and later released, while authorities also seized dozens of computers, the Italian daily La Republica said.
Anonymous, which is believed to have branches in several countries, gained prominence after it launched retaliatory attacks on companies perceived to be enemies of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
The group was linked to attacks on Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, who blocked donations to WikiLeaks after it published thousands of US diplomatic cables.
The Italian branch of the gang is suspected of online sabotage against the country’s parliament, senate and large companies like the state oil major ENI, according to La Republica.
Police grabbed suspected hackers in several regions of Italy and also in Switzerland, where a 26-year-old accused of approving attack targets was questioned by police, the paper said.
Last month, Turkish police arrested 32 suspected Anonymous members, and the group has also been targeted by investigators in Britain, Spain and the US.
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