U.S. charges a suspect with cyber terrorism for the first time

Pierluigi Paganini October 16, 2015

Cyber Terrorism, The Justice Department has charged a hacker in Malaysia with stealing the personal data of US service members and passing it to the IS group.

For the first time ever the US Justice Department has charged a suspect for terrorism and hacking, the two practices converge in the concept of cyber terrorismcyber terrorism. The US Government has charged a hacker in Malaysia with stealing the data belonging to the US service members and passing it to the member of the IS, which urged supporters online to attack them.

The man charged by the Justice Department is Ardit Ferizi, a citizen of Kosovo, which was detained in Malaysia on a U.S. provisional arrest warrant.

Ardit Ferizi was arrested a month ago, according to the US investigators he provided the data to the popular IS militant Junaid Hussain, which disclosed it on the web. The collaboration between the IS hackers Hussain and Ferizi started in April according to the US authorities.

Data included names, e-mail addresses, passwords, locations and phone numbers of 1,351 U.S. military and other government personnel.

“soldiers . . . will strike at your necks in your own lands!” Tweeted Hussain.

Hussain posted the data online spreading the news via Twitter:

“NEW: U.S. Military AND Government HACKED by the Islamic State Hacking Division!”

The jihadist hacker Junaid Hussain was killed at the end of August in a US targeted air strike in Syria, He was involved in actively recruiting ISIL sympathizers in the West to carry out lone wolfstyle attacks.

In March, a cell of the ISIS has called on its members and backers in the US to kill 100 service members whose names, photos and addresses it posted online.

 cyber terrorism ISIS invites to Kill US military personnel

“Ardit Ferizi is a terrorist hacker who provided material support” said the Assistant Attorney General John Carlin. “This case is a first of its kind and, with these charges, we seek to hold Ferizi accountable for his theft of this information and his role in ISIL’s targeting of U.S. government employees,” Carlin said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

On June 2015, Ferizi hacked into a server used by an un-named U.S. online retail company and accessed data on about 100,000 people. Then Ferizi provided the personal information of about 1,351 military and other government personnel to the Islamic State.

According to the complaint filed in the Eastern District of Virginia by the FBI Special Agent Kevin M. Gallagher, Ferizi  acted “knowing that ISIL would use the [data] against the U.S. personnel, including to target the U.S. personnel for attacks and violence,” .

The Kosova Hacker’s Security (KHS) hit numerous organizations across the world, including Serbian Government websites, Israeli websites under the #OpIsrael campaign, The Interpol, IBM Research, Hotmail, US National Weather Service Website and numerous targets in Ukraine.

“The hacker of the online retailer in August had created a user account with the initials KHS, the complaint said. After a security official at the retailer deleted some of the hacker’s files from the company’s server, the company received a threatening message from someone calling himself “Albanian Hacker.” When the FBI reviewed the company’s server, agents tracked the intrusion to a computer with an Internet address in Malaysia, Gallagher said. Malaysian police, in a statement late Thursday, said that Ferizi would be extradited to the United States. It is unclear how long that will take.” reported The Washington Post.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – cyber terrorism,  ISIS)

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