Five people have been arrested on suspicion of computer hacking linked to attacks on companies perceived as enemies of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Three boys aged 15, 16 and 19, along with two men, aged 20 and 26, were arrested.
The Metropolitan Police said the arrests were in relation to recent and ongoing ‘distributed denial of service’ (DDoS) attacks by an online group who called themselves ‘Anonymous.’
“They are part of an ongoing MPS investigation into Anonymous which began last year following criminal allegations of DDoS attacks by the group against several companies.
"This investigation is being carried out in conjunction with international law enforcement agencies in Europe and the US," the Met said
Anonymous made the headlines last year when the group launched “Operation Payback”, attacking companies that withdrew services from WikiLeaks.
The “hacktivists” targeted such brands as Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.
DDoS attacks used software designed to illegally access a computer and could be done with minimal knowledge. Hactivists flooded their target's server so it was overloaded and unavailable for legitimate users.