An ISIS supporter has admitted to stealing identifiable information of roughly 1,300 members of the US military in order to pass this data on to the Islamic State.
While living in Malaysia, Ardit Ferizi, also known as Th3Dir3ctorY, compromised the servers of a US retail store and stole data belonging to at least 100,000 customers. After rifling through this hoard, Ferizi then cherry-picked information belonging to members of the military who used the store and created a document containing personally identifiable information (PII) of the victims.
US prosecutors said on Wednesday this information was then sent to Islamic State hacker Junaid Hussain.
The document read:
“We are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah, who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!”
The 20-year-old student, a citizen of Kosovo, pleaded guilty to the theft before US District Judge Leonie Brinkemaof in an Eastern District of Virginia court.
Ferizi is being charged with providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a terrorist organization, as well as accessing a protected computer without authorization and obtaining information.
As noted by Motherboard, the student did next to nothing to cover his tracks; he used his own name to send Twitter messages to IS members and failed to disguise his IP address.
The cyberattacker was captured by Malaysian police, and upon his arrest, Ferizi waived extradition rights as part of his plea.
“Ferizi endangered the lives of over 1,000 Americans,” said US Attorney Boente. “Cyber terrorism has become an increasingly prevalent and serious threat here in America, both to individuals and businesses. However, cyber terrorist are no different from other terrorists: No matter where they hide, we will track them down and seek to bring them to the United States to face justice.”
Ferizi faces up to 20 years in prison for supporting a terrorist organization, as well as an additional five years behind bars for the computer-related charges.
According to the Washington Post, Ferizi said in court he “didn’t know himself why he did this,” commenting:
“I still ask myself why I committed this crime.”