This article talked about the recent arrest of 25 people in the loose-knit hacker group called “Anonymous” that were arrested in Spain, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina with the help and information from Interpol. The people who were arrested were “suspected of planning coordinated cyber-attacks against institutions including Colombia’s defense ministry and presidential Web Sites, Chile’s Endesa electricity company and national library, and other targets”. During these arrests authorities seized a total of 250 different mobile phones and information technology equipment. Four of the people arrested were a part of the attacks on the Spanish political party websites who had defaced the websites, put up data online about the police, and carried out “denial-of-service” attacks. Anonymous has no real structure to it and the different members all have different principles for why they hack. While Interpol has done a lot to aid in these investigations, Interpol itself cannot arrest or investigate anything, “it facilitates intelligence sharing to help police forces around the world work together” only.
This was an interesting article to read after reading about the South African e-Government initiative. One of South Africa’s main challenges it faces and one of the things it is most worried about as it implements it’s e-Government is security. Clearly, this article on Anonymous is proof that South Africa’s worries are real. While organizations like Interpol can help them investigate hackings into their e-government, it is ultimately the responsibility of South Africa to catch and deal with hackers, as Interpol can do nothing more than provide information. This means that the South African police force and investigative units need to be ready and trained in such activities as the country goes further with it’s e-government. Another interesting part of the article was when it said that Anonymous responded to Interpol on twitter by saying “Interpol, you can’t take Anonymous, it’s an idea”. I found this to be interesting because I think it’s something that every country beginning to implement e-government needs to think about. There is no way to completely get rid of or avoid hackers; they will always exist. Instead of focusing attention on trying to avoid them, the country needs the right people and structures in place to find and stop each source of hacking when it starts and deal with the perpetrators.