Suspected members of the hacker group Anonymous have been identified and arrested – and they are "not your typical hard-core hackers," The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The group banded together online to attempt to take down the websites of PayPal Inc. and other groups. It targeted PayPal, a unit of eBay Inc., for the company's decision to block payments to WikiLeaks after it published government documents.
The suspects include a college student, an ex-Marine, and "even a young man whose only celebrity before last week's arrest was that he dressed up as Harry Potter for a movie premiere," the article said.
One suspect, Drew Phillips, told the Times that he did not think his actions would have drawn the backlash they did. He admits to working on one of the programs used in the attack on PayPal and to participating in the planning of it, the article said.
But he said he did not feel like anyone would come after him for it, so he did not hide the IP address of his computer. "What would anyone want with me?" he told the Times.
Another suspect, Kevin Downey, said he viewed the denial-of-service attack on PayPal's website as similar to the civil disobedience of Gandhi and 1970s college sit-ins.
"No one in the chat rooms apparently bothered to explain that Gandhi spent a lot of time in jail, as did antiwar protesters in the 1970s," the Times said.