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Report: New U.S. Cyber Campaign to Target Islamic State Militants

cybersecurityThe Defense Department has formed “national mission teams” to conduct offensive cyber-based operations against the Islamic State militant organization as part of a wider effort to disrupt the group’s communication activities, The New York Times reported Sunday.

David Sanger writes DoD’s latest cyber campaign aims to weaken the ability of Islamic State militants to spread their extremist propaganda, recruit adherents, disseminate commander orders and fund operations.

“We’re trying to both physically and virtually isolate ISIL,” Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted as saying by The Times.

The report said the effort is aligned with a White House strategy to incorporate U.S.-built cyber weapons into the fight against the militant group.

National mission teams have begun to place “implants” into the Islamic State organization’s networks to examine the online habits of its commanders, according to the report.

Sanger noted DoD aims to imitate those activities or alter messages the group transmits in cyberspace with the intent to redirect militants to areas where U.S. ground forces or drones can target them.

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