Hacker who leaked US military 'kill list' for ISIS sent behind bars

The 20-year-old hacker leaked military data belonging to 1,300 US military and government staff in support of the Islamic extremist group.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

An ISIS supporter who hit the headlines after breaking into computer systems in order to steal and leak the details of military personnel has been awarded a sentence of 20 years in prison for his crimes.


The Daesh flag.

Ardit Ferizi, also known as "Th3Dir3ctorY," was charged at the Eastern District of Virginia court by US District Judge Leonie Brinkema last week, according to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The 20-year-old, a citizen of Kosovo, was charged with providing support the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), as well as accessing a protected computer without consent and stealing data for the sake of the terrorist organization.

According to US prosecutors, Ferizi has admitted to gaining administrator access to a server which hosted sensitive data belonging to military personnel and those connected with them in June 2015.

The victim was a third-party US retailer which held the personally identifiable information (PII) belonging to tens of thousands of customers, including members of the military and other government personnel.

The cyberattacker analyzed this data, stripping out everything which belonged to members of the US military and government in order to create a hit-list of roughly 1,300 individuals which was then given to Daesh recruiter Junaid Hussain, while he lived. This information was also made public on Twitter.

Ferizi gave this information to the terrorist organization in order for ISIS to "hit them hard" and did not bother to conceal his activity -- neither disguising his IP address or using a fake name on social media -- which made it easier for law enforcement to track his activities.

Ferizi, who once lived in Malaysia, was arrested by local police on a provision arrest warrant on behalf of US law enforcement and later pleaded guilty to all charges.

Assistant Attorney General Carlin commented:

"This case represents the first time we have seen the very real and dangerous national security cyber threat that results from the combination of terrorism and hacking. This was a wake-up call not only to those of us in law enforcement, but also to those in private industry. This successful prosecution also sends a message to those around the world that, if you provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations and assist them with their deadly attack planning, you will have nowhere to hide.

We will reach half-way around the world if necessary to hold accountable those who engage in this type of activity."

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