* Arrests in three states- source
* Action comes after Anoymous claimed big attacks
(Recasts with 14 arrests)
NEW YORK, July 19 The FBI arrested at least 14
people on Tuesday as part of a wide-ranging investigation of
the Internet vigilante hacking group Anonymous, a law
enforcement source said.
The arrests came after claims by the group it broke into
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) servers and launched attacks last year that
shut down sites of MasterCard Inc (MA.N) and Visa Inc (V.N).
Arrests were made in California, Florida and New Jersey, a
second law enforcement source said.
Neither source wanted to be identified as charges had not
The arrests followed raids on six locations in New York,
including one in Brooklyn and five others on Long Island. They
were searched for computers and computer-related accessories,
the FBI said.
The equipment was suspected of being used by members of the
grass-roots organization inspired by WikiLeaks and its founder
No arrests were made in New York.
FBI officials in California and Florida said searches were
underway but declined to confirm any arrests.
A spokesman for the FBI in New Jersey said one arrest was
made there but declined to say where or on what charges.
Court papers for the sweep were expected to be unsealed
later on Tuesday.
Anonymous, which law enforcement authorities believe is
mostly made up of hackers believed to be in their teens and
early 20s, also has released scores of private e-mails and
other data from an Arizona police website.
The group teamed up with the Lulz Security group of hackers
in June. LulzSec has breached websites of Sony Corp, the CIA
and a British police unit.
Experts say the FBI raids should have been expected as the
group's actions have become more daring.
"I don't think anybody should be surprised," said Josh
Shaul, chief technical officer of Application Security, Inc.,
which helps companies protect their data. "They played with
fire and they got burned."
(Reporting by Basil Katz in New York, Pascal Fletcher in
Miami, Dan Levine in San Francisco and Diane Bartz and Jeremy
Pelofsky in Washington)