An FBI raid at a home just off the University of Connecticut campus Friday is part of a larger nationwide investigation into a string of recent organized cyber attacks. The FBI said it began executing more than 40 search warrants nationwide Thursday (Jan. 27) as part of an investigation into coordinated attacks.
The United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service also arrested five people for their alleged role.
One of those raids occurred just off the UConn campus in Storrs Friday, but U. S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Thomas Carson said no arrests have been made from the raid as of this morning (Jan. 31).
Calls to a spokesman for the FBI’s office in New Haven seeking comment were not returned this morning.
UConn spokesman Michael Kirk said the raid reportedly occurred at 208 North Eagleville Road, an address listed as the location for the UConn Student Shelter for the Arts.
A phone number for the organization was not accepting calls this morning, and Michael Improta, Darrell Hollens and Vincent Cardinal, all listed as officers on the organization’s web page, did not respond to e-mails seeking comment.
According to UConn’s web site at the Division of Student Affairs link, the UConn Student Shelter for the Arts’ mission is to “provide an outlet for student creativity on the UConn campus, for performing and visual arts of all kinds. To organize and sponsor events including but not limited to poetry readings, staged readings, student bands, open mic nights and visual art shows.”
Kirk declined to comment further, saying the raid occurred off campus and there was no indication this morning that UConn students are involved in the FBI’s investigation.
The FBI said it began executing more than 40 search warrants as part of an international investigation into the coordinated cyber attacks.
The FBI said distributed denial of service attacks occur when a software program sends a series of useless commands and information to a computer network.
The commands make the network deny “service to legitimate users,” the FBI said, adding the attacks have targeted major companies and organizations.
The FBI added a group calling itself “Anonymous” has claimed responsibility for the attacks and said the attacks were in protest of the companies’ and organizations’ actions.
On its web site, www.whyweprotest.com, “Anonymous” also said it supports WikiLeaks and defiance groups in Iran, Zimbabwe and Tunisia.
Along with the UK, the FBI also said authorities in Germany, the Netherlands and France have also been conducting investigations into coordinated cyber attacks and the FBI is working closely with those investigations.
The FBI said the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance – a public- private partnership that works to identify, mitigate, and neutralize cyber crime – is also helping in the investigation.
The NCFTA has advised that software from any untrustworthy source represents a potential threat and should be removed, the FBI said.