Kosovo hacker linked to IS group gets 20 years in US prison

Washington (AFP) - A computer hacker who helped the Islamic State group by providing stolen personal data on more than 1,000 US government and military workers was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

Ardit Ferizi, a 20-year-old citizen of Kosovo known by his hacking moniker "Th3Dir3ctorY," was sentenced in a US federal court in Virginia, the Justice Department said.

"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 John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security.

"This was a wake-up call not only to those of us in law enforcement, but also to those in private industry," his statement read.

Malaysian police arrested Ferizi in September 2015 on behalf of a provisional US arrest warrant. The suspect was extradited to the United States for prosecution.

The so-called "terrorist hacker" pleaded guilty in June in US court for his role in the IS group's targeting of US government personnel for attacks.

He admitted he had given hacked data to an IS member who posted a 30-page document on Twitter -- a virtual hit list containing names, email addresses, email passwords, locations and phone numbers for about 1,300 US military and other government personnel.

The Twitter message containing the document read: ?NEW: U.S. Military AND Government HACKED by the Islamic State Hacking Division!?

"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," the document said in part, according to the Justice Department.

"We are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the (caliphate), who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!"