The message has been sent to the world. And it’s clear. And just.
If you hack the United States government, and expose its workers or its military members to any organization — let alone terror cells — you will be thrown into a federal prison.
Simple as that.
Ardit Ferizi, 25, from Kosovo, was sentenced to 20 years in prison at an Alexandria, Virginia court Friday, after he was the first person ever to be convicted in the U.S. of BOTH terrorism and hacking charges.
He unloaded 1,000 U.S. military and government workers’ names to ISIS (Islamic State, IS, ISIL, Daesh) as potential targets for the terrorism organization.
This from the Associated Press:
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Ferizi offered the Islamic State group the hacked data “with the understanding that ISIL would use the [personally identifiable information] to ‘hit them hard.’”
Assistant Attorney General John Carlin noted in June that this was the first time a hacker had been prosecuted on charges of terrorism.
“Ferizi admitted to stealing the personally identifiable information of over 1,000 U.S. servicemembers and federal employees and providing it to [ISIS] with the understanding that they would incite terrorist attacks against those individuals,” Carlin said after the guilty plea was entered. “The case against Ferizi is the first of its kind, representing the nexus of the terror and cyber threats.”
Ferizi dumped the data to ISIS back in the late summer of 2015. Despite this fact, his defense attorney sought only six years behind bars, citing that the digital terrorist “meant no real harm.”
The prosecution sought a fate of 25 years in prison. They got close.