US drops ‘cyber bombs’ on ISIS for the first time

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US drops 'cyber bombs' on ISIS for the first time

The US is targeting ISIS with cyber attacks.

Jean Marmeisse/Corbis

The US has reportedly introduced a new tactic in its war against Islamic State.

The Department of Defense’s Cyber Command unit is mounting cyber attacks against the terrorist organisation, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The cybercampaign is the latest in a range of military missions being conducted by the US against ISIS. Its aim is to stop the organisation from spreading its message, recruiting new members and circulating orders online.

Cyber Command has placed implants within ISIS’s networks in order to study the behavior of members, with the eventual aim of mimicking them to alter their messages and redirect militants in a way that will leave them exposed to US ground or drone operations.

These cyber attacks mark a new approach for the US, and have not been widely discussed — with a few exceptions.

“We are dropping cyber bombs,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work told CNN earlier this month. “We have never done that before.”

Cyber Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Department of Defense could not be reached.