The FBI is currently conducting a investigatory sweep of at least 40 cyber activists suspected of participating in retaliatory DDoS attacks under the auspices of Anonymous.
"FBI agents [Thursday] executed more than 40 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations," the Bureau confirmed in a press release.
"These distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) are facilitated by software tools designed to damage a computer network's ability to function by flooding it with useless commands and information, thus denying service to legitimate users."
The FBI also emphasized that "facilitating or conducting" a DDoS attack was illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Anonymous responded to the recent arrest of 5 UK activists by issuing an official statement that harshly criticized the British government.
According to the organization, the above-mentioned action illustrates that law enforcement officials "do not seem to understand the present-day political and technological reality," and amounts to no less than a "declaration of war" against Anonymous.
"As traditional means of protest (peaceful demonstrations, sit-ins, the blocking of a crossroads or the picketing of a factory fence) have slowly turned into nothing but an empty, ritualized gesture of discontent over the course of the last century, people have been anxiously searching for new ways to pressure politicians and give voice to public demands in a manner that might actually be able to change things for the better.
"[We] have, for now, found this new way of voicing civil protest in the form of the DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, attack. Just as is the case with traditional forms of protest, we block access to our opponents infrastructure to get our message across. Whether or not this infrastructure is located in the real world or in cyberspace, seems completely irrelevant to us.
"The fact that thousands of people from all over the world felt the need to participate in these attacks on organizations targeting Wikileaks and treating it as a public threat, rather than a common good, should be something that sets you thinking. You can easily arrest individuals,
but you cannot arrest an ideology. We are united by a common objective and we can and WILL cross any borders to achieve that."