ISIS Hacker Arrested on U.S. Charges Is One In a Long Line of Threats to National Security

ISIS Hacker Arrested on U.S. Charges Is One In a Long Line of Threats to National Security

Malaysian authorities detained Ardit Ferizi in Malaysia under a U.S. arrest warrant, claiming that he provided private information to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (commonly known as ISIS) [1].

Ferizi, known by his hacking moniker as “Th3Dir3ctorY,” was charged for hacking into the databases of the United States and supplying ISIS with the PII (personally identifiable information) of over a thousand U.S. service members and federal employees. Ferizi also accessed customer data from an internet service provider and stole the credit card information of over a hundred-thousand customers [2] [3].

Ferizi’s actions are precedented by previous involvements with ISIS as part of the Kosova Hacker’s Security (KHS), a hacking group that has previously provided ISIS with the PII of thousands of individuals. A serious private information breach in August (led by the ISIS’s hacking division) heightened the vigilance of national security forces. Junaid Hussain, a member of ISIS, tweeted “NEW: U.S. Military AND Government HACKED by the Islamic State Hacking Division!” and shared a 30-page document of names, email addresses, email passwords, locations, and phone numbers of over one thousand U.S. military and government workers.

The first pages of the tweet include a message from ISHD stating that ISHD was “extracting confidential data and passing on [government workers’] personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah,” who “with the permission of Allah” would “strike at [their] necks in [their] own lands!” Threatening to harm U.S. personnel on U.S. soil reinforces the ISIS’s aggressive attempts to intimidate and endanger national security. Later in August, the U.S. announced that Hussain had been killed during an American airstrike [4] [5]. U.S. Assistant attorney General John Carlin states that “this arrest demonstrates our resolve to confront and disrupt ISIL’s efforts to target Americans, in whatever form and wherever they occur.” [6].

The U.S. is now looking to convict Ferizi of his crime. If convicted, Ferizi will be subject to 35 years in prison. The investigation for more evidence is currently being conducted by the FBI [7].

by Bradford Lin ‘18