Malaysia confirms arrest of hacker who allegedly gave U.S. targets to Islamic State

Malaysia confirms arrest of hacker who allegedly gave U.S. targets to Islamic State

Malaysia confirms arrest of hacker who allegedly gave U.S. targets to Islamic State

Written by Staff Writer

21 Oct, 2015 | 11:41 am

Malaysian authorities on Wednesday, October 21, confirmed the arrest of a man accused of hacking personal data of more than a thousand U.S. officials and handing it to Islamic State militants in Syria so they could target the individuals.

“He has been detained, and he’s being investigated,” said Malaysian Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Khalid said the suspect, identified as 20-year-old Ardit Ferizi from Kosovo, will be extradited to the United States in due course, but that a date for that transfer could not yet be confirmed.

“Well it depends on the process. There is a process that needs to be done before he can be extradited back to the U.S.,” he said. On Friday, October 16, Malaysian police said the suspect entered Malaysia in August 2014 to study computer science and forensics

They added that he had communicated with an Islamic State member in Syria about hacking servers containing information and details of U.S security personnel. U.S. government experts say that in practice, Islamic State’s hacking exploits have been rudimentary and have done little known damage to any targeted institutions or individuals.

In contrast, the group’s coterie of cyber specialists is regarded by American and allied government counterterrorism agencies as highly sophisticated in its use of social media to spread Islamic State’s message and recruit new members and supporters.

The U.S. Justice Department said Ferizi, a known hacker, had been charged with hacking the personal information of 1,351 U.S. military personnel and federal employees and supporting Islamic State. Muslim-majority Malaysia has not experienced significant militant attacks, but it has arrested more than 100 citizens this year on suspicion of links to Islamic State.

Ferizi was arrested by local police at the request of the United States.

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