By Jim Kouri
A suspect charged with providing material support to ISIS and computer hacking related to the theft and distribution of U.S. military and federal employee personal information adds to questions about Hillary Clinton’s personal server’s vulnerability.
U.S. authorities have arrested a Malaysia-based hacker who allegedly gathered personal information of U.S. military members to pass on to a prominent Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) propagandist, according to the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday.
Law enforcement officials are holding suspect Ardit Ferizi, a Muslim from Kosovo, in a Malaysia detention facility based on an outstanding U.S. arrest warrant alleging that he provided material support to ISIS, which is a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization. He allegedly committed computer hacking and identity theft violations in conjunction with the theft and release of personally identifiable information about members of the U.S. military as well as federal government employees.
ls in the heads of anyone involved in national security, counterterrorism, or law enforcement. If these members of Obama’s ‘JV Team’ are able to penetrate computers systems used by the military and the government, how easy would it have been to breach Hillary Clinton’s personal server on which she conducted national security business?” asked former police cyber security expert Gregory Nash, who now specializes in computer “target hardening.”
According to the criminal complaint which was unsealed on Thursday, U.S. law enforcement officials and prosecutors are seeking Ferizi’s extradition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia so he can stand trial.
The data on U.S. military members, including their home addresses and photos, was scraped from websites and passed on to Junaid Hussein, a notorious British hacker who was actively involved in recruiting westerners to join ISIS and travel to the Middle East for training and deployment, according to Justice Department officials.
The Pentagon had announced in August 2015 that the U.S. had killed Hussein during an airstrike in Syria. The British jihadist allegedly served as a ranking member of ISIS’s so-called Cyber Caliphate which allegedly carried out hacking operations on military and government websites belonging to the U.S., France, Britain and other western countries.
Malaysian authorities have already agreed to extradite the hacker Ardit Ferizi, to the U.S. where he will be charged with cybercrime and terrorism offenses.
“As alleged, Ardit Ferizi is a terrorist hacker who provided material support to ISIS by stealing the personally identifiable information of U.S. service members and federal employees and providing it to ISIS for use against those employees,” said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin in Washington, D.C. “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 ISIS’s targeting of U.S. government employees,” Carlin added.
“The Justice Department and Assistant Attorney General Carlin should be commended for their investigation and arrest of a dangerous security threat in this cyber terrorism case. Now if only they would give the case involving Hillary Clinton and her breach of security in using an unprotected Internet server to store classified emails,” Gregory Nash said.