Federal prosecutors are going after a man they say stole the personal information of more than 1,000 American federal employees and military personnel as part of a plot to hand that information over to people affiliated with the Islamic State terror group.
The suspect, Ardit Ferizi, allegedly hacked into the computer system of an unidentified US retailer, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The FBI says Ferizi stole information pertaining to some 100,000 people and analysed the data.
Roughly 1,300 people in that data pool were determined to be either US service members or federal employees.
The information was reportedly passed to an ISIS operative via social media.
Ferizi — who is a citizen of Kosovo, but was detained in Malaysia — is a well-known hacker. He’s believed to be affiliated with a collective that claims to have hacked tens of thousands of websites, include that of Interpol and the US computer hardware company, Intel.
According to court documents cited by The Journal, an ISIS operative “used Twitter to post a link on Aug. 11 to a 30-page document listing those Americans.”
That ISIS operative was allegedly killed in an airstrike in late summer. It’s not clear who else may have received the information.
US officials are calling it an unprecedented case, since it appears to be the first time a hacker has partnered with a terror group to potentially harm Americans, according to The Journal.
Ferizi claims to be associated with a hacking group called, Kosova Hacker’s Security, and allegedly worked under the pseudonym, “@Th3Dir3ctorY” on Twitter.
Assistant Attorney General John Carlin with the National Security division of the Justice Department called Ferizi “a terrorist hacker” and accused him of specifically targeting US service members and federal employees, “and providing it to ISIL for use against those employees.”
“ISIL” is one of several names used to describe the Islamic State terror group.
Ferizi is expected to be brought to the US to face charges.
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