MILCOM — WASHINGTON — The U.S. military has launched a newly aggressive campaign of cyberattacks against Islamic State militants, targeting the group’s abilities to use social media and the Internet to recruit fighters and inspire followers, U.S. officials told The Associated Press.
The surge of computer-based military operations by U.S. Cyber Command began shortly after Defense Secretary Ash Carter prodded commanders at Fort Meade, Maryland, last month to ramp up the fight against the Islamic State group on the cyber front.
U.S. officials confirmed that operations launched out of Fort Meade have focused on disrupting the group’s online activities. The officials said the effort is getting under way as operators try a range of attacks to see what works and what doesn’t. They declined to discuss details, other than to say that the attacks include efforts to prevent the group from distributing propaganda, videos, or other types of recruiting and messaging on social media sites such as Twitter, and across the Internet in general.
Other attacks could include attempts to stop insurgents from conducting financial or logistical transactions online.