A student who hacked into corporate servers to build a kill list for medieval terror bastards Daesh has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after admitting his guilt.
Ardit Ferizi, aka Th3Dir3ctorY, broke into the servers of an unnamed Illinois company and downloaded the personal information of tens of thousands of its customers. He then identified over 1,300 customers with a .mil or .gov email address and posted the list to his Daesh contact, who put it online with the following warning:
"We are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah, who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!"
According to court documents [PDF] Ferizi, a 20-year-old computer science student, first got involved with Daesh in April 2015 after he volunteered to administrate the now-defunct Penvid.com – a propaganda site for the terror group.
After the website was shut down, Ferizi had public Twitter conversations with people online defending the actions of Daesh, saying the group's members "never kill someone without reason." He also got in contact with a now-deceased ISIL recruiter, Junaid Hussain, to discuss helping further.
On June 13, 2015 Ferizi hacked into the American firm's database and gained full administrator privileges. After identifying those who he thought were legitimate targets, he forwarded the list to Hussain, who published it in August of that year.
Ferizi was arrested last year in Malaysia as he was attempting to leave the country after an international warrant was issued in the US, and was extradited in January to face charges in the US. In June he pled guilty to charges of accessing a protected computer and obtaining information to provide material support to Daesh, and on Friday was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
"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," said assistant attorney general John Carlin.
"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." ®