Re: "individuals of extraordinary talent."
"I always thought they were run of the mill script kiddies"
I was about to say something like that, too. what makes them 'script kiddies' is (from what I got from the article) how it started [apparently] with a 17 year old using "toolz" on his "p00ter" to check for SQL injection vulnerabilities. And when he found them, he (apparently) did some thieving and BRAGGED! ABOUT! IT! to others, some of whom were also arrested and convicted [hence the sentencing].
that's kinda what the definition of "script kiddie" is, using things written by others like any miscreant would, in essence having NO real knowledge of computers, or networks, or security, but having those "toolz" so he can look like a 1337 h4x0r to his script-kiddie buddies and online "friends".
REAL hackers, of course, get jobs as engineers, and in IT (and often become security experts). Or they do the 'mad science' thing and invent stuff, work on kernels and device drivers and really cool features in commercial software, because real hackers are curious, inventive, think outside of the box, and typically find unique creative solutions to problems that others would just wheel-spin trying to solve.