[ISN] Italian Police Nab Hacker Group

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 22:20:14 PST

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    Philip Willan, IDG News Service
    Tuesday, January 15, 2002
    ROME -- Italian police have identified six members of a hacker group
    charged with attacking thousands of Web sites in 62 countries,
    replacing official home pages with anti-globalization slogans, finance
    police officials said Tuesday. The group is one of the most important
    to be discovered in terms of the number and significance of its
    targets, officials said.
    The hackers, all students between the ages of 15 and 23, began their
    attacks last July during the G8 summit in Genoa, which led to
    anti-globalization demonstrations. Hackers placed the slogan "Hi-Tech
    Hate" on Web sites, police said. However, the attacks did not cause
    much monetary damage, so the hackers are not expected to be severely
    In the United States, hacked sites included those of the Pentagon, the
    U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, courts, and
    numerous universities including Harvard University, Columbia
    University, and Cornell University, police said.
    The group also attacked government Web sites in Europe and South
    America, the finance police said in a statement. The
    Anti-Technological Crime Unit of the finance police handled the
    Prolific Vandalism 
    In Italy the group hacked sites of the health and defense ministries,
    the Senate, media organizations, the Internet provider Italia On Line,
    the Left Democrats Party, and pop singer Claudio Baglioni.
    The investigation began in August, when the crime unit became aware of
    an attempt to penetrate the Web site of MB Service Srl, an Italian
    software company, police said. Investigators followed the trail to a
    Hi-Tech Hate hacker and subsequently tracked down the other five. The
    students lived in different parts of Italy and kept in contact via the
    Internet, investigators said.
    "This was one of the most prolific hacker groups ever seen in terms of
    the number of its attacks. They were very expert," Giancarlo Samele, a
    member of the Anti-Technological Crime Unit, said in an interview. "We
    don't have an estimate of the financial damage caused, but it should
    not be very high. These were not really malicious attacks."
    The hackers are likely to escape with suspended prison sentences
    because they have no previous convictions and their attacks did not
    cause serious damage, Gianluigi Chiapponi, the Ravenna prosecutor
    coordinating the case, said at a press conference.
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