UK Launched Cyber Attack on Islamic State
The UK has conducted a "major offensive cyber-campaign" against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ has revealed.
The operation hindered the group's ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its propaganda, former MI5 agent Jeremy Fleming said.
It is the first time the UK has systematically degraded an adversary's online efforts in a military campaign.
Mr Fleming made the remarks in his first public speech as GCHQ director.
"The outcomes of these operations are wide-ranging," he told the Cyber UK conference in Manchester.
"In 2017 there were times when Daesh [an alternative name for Islamic State] found it almost impossible to spread their hate online, to use their normal channels to spread their rhetoric, or trust their publications."
Mr Fleming said much of the cyber-operation was "too sensitive to talk about", but had disrupted the group's online activities and even destroyed equipment and networks.
"This campaign shows how targeted and effective offensive cyber can be," he added.
But Mr Fleming said the fight against IS was not over, because the group continued to "seek to carry out or inspire further attacks in the UK" and find new "ungoverned spaces to base their operations".
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