ISIS threatens feds, military after theft of personal data
Monday, February 1, 2016
The federal workforce, already shaken by a massive cyber theft of personal data, now confronts another reality – ISIS has some of that same information.
Ardit Ferizi, 20, from Kosovo, was in federal court last week on charges he provided the brutal terrorist organization names, email addresses, passwords and locations of federal employees and military members.
It’s worth noting up front the number of people whose information was stolen for ISIS is small — 1,351, compared to the 21.5 million people whose background security clearance data was poached in the cybertheft announced last year.
Also, there is no reported harm — physical, financial or otherwise — to the cyber victims from ISIS. The FBI’s criminal complaint against Ferizi, however, paints a frightening picture of what the terrorist group, aka ISIL, planned for that information. More broadly, this case, like the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation, is another indication of the particular threat federal government personnel and workplaces face from extremists, foreign and domestic.
“Specifically, the PII (personally identifiable information), stolen by Ferizi was knowingly provided to ISIL to be used by ISIL members and supporters to conduct terrorist attacks against the US government employees whose names and locations were published,” according to the document filed in federal district court in Alexandria by FBI Special Agent Kevin M. Gallagher.
It’s one thing if a cyber identity thief goes on a Best Buy shopping spree at your expense. It’s quite another if your personal information is obtained by those who practice mass murder.