WASHINGTON – The US military is conducting cyber-attacks on the Islamic State (IS) group, a general has confirmed, as the Pentagon looks to accelerate the fight against the jihadists.
A US-led coalition of warplanes has been striking IS targets in Iraq and Syria since August 2014, and officials have long stated the importance of using cyber techniques such as overloading IS networks to limit the group’s communications and ability to reach potential new recruits.
“We have now begun to use our exquisite cyber capabilities in this fight,” Baghdad-based Major General Peter Gersten told Pentagon reporters.
He did not elaborate, except to say the effort is “highly coordinated” and has been “very effective”.
In February, Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and the US military’s top officer General Joe Dunford said the United States was determined to “accelerate” the anti-IS campaign, and indicated cyber warfare would play an increasingly important role in doing so.
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Earlier this month, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said: “We are dropping cyberbombs” on the IS group.
The New York Times said the US Cyber Command had placed “implants” in IS networks that let experts monitor the group’s behaviour.
It said the US hoped to ultimately imitate or alter commanders’ messages so they unwittingly direct fighters to areas likely to be hit by drone or plane strikes.
Last week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also admitted for the first time that the Australian Government had the ability to launch cyber-attacks, saying “an offensive cyber capability housed in the Australian Signals Directorate provides another option for Government to respond”.
It came as Mr Turnbull confirmed the Bureau of Meteorology had been hacked.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.