The United States is conducting cyber attacks on the Daesh terrorist group, says a US general in charge of military operations in Iraq and Syria.
“We have now begun to use our exquisite cyber capabilities in this fight against Daesh,” Baghdad-based Major General Peter Gersten told Pentagon reporters on Tuesday.
As part of the new line of combat, the US military’s six-year-old Cyber Command is mounting computer-network attacks, using modern communications and encryption to recruit and conduct operations.
Gersten said that the mission is “highly coordinated” and is proving “very effective.”
US Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has publicly discussed the new mission, but only in broad terms, but the deputy secretary of defense, Robert O. Work, described the effort in a more colorful way.
“We are dropping cyberbombs,” Work said. “We have never done that before.”
Also, The New York Times said in a report Sunday that the Cyber Command had placed “implants” in Daesh networks, allowing experts to monitor the terrorists’ behavior.
This will ultimately enable them to imitate or alter the messages by Daesh commanders so that they unwittingly direct their militants to areas likely to be struck by US drone or plane strikes.
Admiral Michael Rogers, head of both Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, also confirmed the new scheme, but declined to provide any additional information.
“We have publicly acknowledged that we are using cyber as another tool against ISIL,” Rogers said at a Georgetown University cybersecurity conference on Tuesday.
“I want them to be aware: We are going to contest you on the kinetic battlefield, we are going to contest you with information dynamics, we are committed to this fight,” he added.
Meanwhile, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that Daesh operatives, especially those operating underground cells in Europe, have become “very security conscious” and mindful of the “efforts mounted to monitor them.”
The intelligence chief said the terrorists have resorted to encrypted messaging in order to avoid detection. “From our standpoint, it’s not a good thing,” Clapper said.
By Press TV