On 26th February 2014 the Judicial Police, through the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Board, in close coordination with the Gabinete do Cibercrime da Procuradoria-Geral da República (Cybercrime Office of the Attorney General’s Department), conducted “Operation CARETOS” in various parts of the country in connection with computer crime known as “hacktivism”. 

The operation was conducted by 70 highly specialized staff, aimed at locating and apprehending those responsible for in acts of computer sabotage, computer damage, hacking and unauthorised access where data has been downloaded from the website of various government agencies and some private sector companies.

During the operation 24 house searches were conducted and seven persons, aged between 17 and 40 years were arrested including Rui Cruz the founder of a website called “Tugaleaks” and the other from a group called “Anonymous Portugal” who are suspected responsible for these crimes. The arrests were made in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto. One of those arrested is a woman. In addition to those arrested another 14 persons have been made “arquidos” (formal suspects.

The investigation began in April last year and has now amassed a large collection of information and supporting materials concerning the activities of those involved.

The group is suspected of attacks and the publication of material concerning the personal details of administrators and emails of Government departments including: the Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Health; Education Ministry, Lisbon District Attorney’s office as well as the PSP, GNR, SIS (Secret Service) and National Defence. In the attack against the Ministry of Agriculture some 2700 personal details were believed stolen. It also included the revealing of a list of the details of 300 unmarked vehicles used by the GNR and PSP.

Apart from Government, sites the group are suspected of “hactivism” against banks such as BES, Barclays and BANIF. In these attacks against the banks the content of some 200 emails were revealed.

In a press release the Judicial Police stated that it is continuing its investigations in order to determine the nature and extent of criminal connections of the groups believed involved. The detainees will appear at the courts of initial judicial interrogation and will be at which appropriate reporting/remand condition will be applied.