A hacker accused of offering support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), appeared in court in the U.S. on Wednesday, after being arrested in Malaysia in October 2015.
Ardit Ferizi, 20, a citizen of Kosovo, made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis of the Eastern District of Virginia.
In a compliant filed with the court, the FBI accused Ferizi of providing material support to ISIL and committing computer hacking and identity theft violations.
Specifically, Ferizi is accused of stealing and publicly releasing personally identifiable information (PII) of U.S. service members and federal employees. Also known by his hacking moniker “Th3Dir3ctorY,” Ferizi allegedly hacked into the computer system of a company located in the US and stole the PII of over 1,000 U.S. service members and federal employees and provided the data to ISIL.
Specifically, the complaint accuses Ferizi of providing sensitive stolen data to ISIL member Junaid Hussain, aka Abu Hussain al-Britani. On August 11, 2015, Hussain posted a link on Twitter to a document including the names, e-mail addresses, e-mail passwords, locations and phone numbers for approximately 1,351 U.S. military and other government personnel for the purpose of encouraging terrorist attacks against those individuals.
Malaysian authorities arrested Ferizi on Oct. 6, 2015, on a provisional arrest warrant on behalf of the United States, while the criminal complaint was unsealed on Oct. 15, 2015. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison, DOJ says.
Various deadly Islamic State attacks around the world determined many individuals engage into fight against terrorism, including hacking groups such as Anonymous, which announced in November to have taken out 5,500 Twitter accounts linked to the terrorist organization.
Other groups also claim to have joined the online fight against the Islamic State, including the New World Hacking group, which took down the BBC servers on Dec. 31, 2015, while testing Bangstresser, a tool capable of launching 600 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.