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India is to unleash a hit squad of teen hackers to fight cybercrime.

The hand-picked group of 19 recruits, the youngest of whom is 14-years-old and still at school, are being brought in to advise the newly formed National Cyber Cop Committee, which was set up to find ways of stopping Indian government Web sites being hacked.

The committee of police and government representatives will in turn hold workshops to educate judicial and police officers on various Net-related offences, Reuters reports.

Large chunks of the Indian police force are said to be unfamiliar with cybercrime - despite the country passing a landmark digital law last year to fight the problem.

Dewang Mehta, president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), described the hackers as "brilliant" at a news conference in New Delhi.

"They told me that within five minutes they can hack the (Indian) defence ministry Website," he said.

"If you want to catch hold of a hacker, you need the brains of a hacker."

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation also advised on the move.

"Hacking, spreading viruses are much bigger criminal offences in cyber terrorism than pornography," added Mehta. ®

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