* Police in Ticino confiscated computer material
* Man suspected of carrying out cyber attacks
ZURICH, July 7 Swiss police have searched the
home of an Italian citizen suspected of carrying out cyber
attacks in Italy, prosecutors said on Thursday.
"We confiscated computer material we will now have to
examine closely," said Xaverio Snider, a spokesman for the
prosecutor's office in Lugano, a lakeside town in Switzerland's
Italian-speaking Ticino region, an hour north of Milan.
The man is suspected of being part of the Internet activist
group "Anonymous" that attacked websites it considered hostile
to WikiLeaks after it posted confidential U.S. diplomatic cables
on its website last year.
Online payments service PayPal and credit card
giants Visa and MasterCard were among Anonymous'
Snider said the Swiss authorities intervened at the demand
of their Italian counterparts, as all the alleged offenses had
been committed in Italy.
"The man is an Italian citizen but he was born in Ticino and
has lived here all his life," he said.
Police in Italy said they have identified a group of hackers
who have carried out several cyber attacks on Italian
institutions and companies since January.
Italy's anti-cyber crime police CNAIPIC have identified
three people, including a minor. So far they have made 32 raids
in Italy, as well as the Lugano raid conducted in coordination
with Swiss authorities, Italian police said in a statement.
"The damage caused to institutions and companies hit by an
attack is extensive; they are no longer able to provide services
to users while the return to normal functioning of the web site
often takes several hours, coming with a considerable cost,"
Companies affected so far include oil major ENI ,
utility Enel and media company Mediaset , owned
by the family of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz in Zurich and Catherine
Hornby in Rome; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)