Six Italian youths aged between 15 and 23 have been arrested in connection with almost 600 website defacements.
Identified as part of a group known as Hi-tech Hate, the hackers made headlines last summer after they went on a defacement spree protesting against the G8 summit in Genoa.
According to Italian paper La Repubblica the youths are to be tried on 41 counts of unauthorised intrusion into a computer system, including those of the Pentagon, Nasa, the Chinese government, US law courts, and a multitude of universities and companies around the world.
An investigation to track the group down has been underway since August, subsequently leading the Italian authorities to the six alleged perpetrators who lived in different regions of the country and kept in contact over the web.
If found guilty, the youths face up to three years in jail, but a quote in La Repubblica from prosecuting attorney Gianluca Chiapponi reveals that it is unlikely that the group will end up in prison.
He said that because they are young, first time offenders, and minimal financial damage was caused, they are likely to receive suspended sentences.
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