For the first time, a hacker will go to prison for terrorism-related crimes.
Ardit Ferizi posing with a friend. (Image: Facebook)
A 20-year-old wannabe hacker and ISIS sympathizer pleaded guilty on Wednesday of stealing personal data of 1,000 US military members and then sending it to a notorious ISIS hacker.
Ardit Ferizi, whom at the time was living in Malaysia, hacked into the server of an unnamed American retail company and stole the personal information of about 100,000 people last year.
Weeks later, he sent information on more than 1,000 military servicemen and women to ISIS hacker Junaid Hussain, according to court documents. Hussain, who was also known as Abu Hussain Al-Britani, later posted the servicemen and women's names, email addresses, passwords, locations and phone numbers on Twitter, inciting others to kill them.
Ferizi was arrested in October of 2015, after making a series of careless mistakes, such as not bothering to hide his IP address during his hacking activities.
"Ferizi endangered the lives of over 1,000 Americans," Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. "Cyber terrorism has become an increasingly prevalent and serious threat here in America, both to individuals and businesses. However, cyber terrorist are no different from other terrorists: No matter where they hide, we will track them down and seek to bring them to the United States to face justice."
The hacker could get as much as 25 years in prison, and his sentencing is set for September 16 of this year.
"I don't know myself why I did this," Ferizi said in court, according to The Washington Post. "I still ask myself why I committed this crime."