The web site for Spain's national police force was briefly taken offline Sunday in an attack that hacking collective Anonymous claimed to be in response to the recent arrest of three citizens
suspected in the attacks on Sony's network infrastructure.
Spanish authorities confirmed to the BBC
that the Policia.es site was down for about an hour Sunday night, but could not confirm the involvement of the Anonymous group.
However, Anonymous news site AnonOps posted a press release
purportedly from the group, claiming the attack and others like it were peaceful protests analogous to a real-world sit-in.
"Arresting somebody for taking part in a DDoS attack is exactly like arresting somebody for attending a peaceful demonstration in their hometown," the release reads. "Anonymous believes this right to peacefully protest is one of the fundamental pillars of any democracy..."
Anonymous first publicly threatened Sony's servers
in early April, launching a brief denial-of-service attack
in response to the company's legal case against alleged PlayStation 3 hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz. (The case was settled out of court
about a week later.)
When a massive server breach compromised Sony user data and knocked PSN offline later in April, Anonymous repeatedly denied
However, Sony revealed in a May letter to Congress
that a file named "Anonymous," which contained the group's "We are Legion" rallying cry, had been intrusively placed on their servers at some point.
Membership and leadership are hard to identify in Anonymous' loose collective of hackers and web activists, with members often claiming the mantle of the entire group without any sort of official organizational support.