WASHINGTON, 2016.03.03. – The military of the Unites States of America has announced a cyber attack on the Islamic State (IS). The defense ministry said that this attack would be done in cooperation with the armed forces of Iraq and the Kurdish forces in the region. The ultimate aim is to gain the city of Mossul. Ashton Carter, the US’ defense minister, claimed that the cyber attacks target the communication infrastructure of the city and would be considered the most important part of the action.
According to ZDnet, the aim of the operation is “to disrupt and disturb the control of the IS, undermine the trust in their networks, to overload the networks so that they do not function and to do everything which will harm their ability to command and control their own armed forces, population and economy.
The operation is helped by the fact that a large part of the Iraqi communication infrastructure was built by US companies after the war in Iraq. The military and the NSA, have already used the infrastructure for spying in the past. The armed forces are further able to attack the communication infrastructure from the air.
However, the armed forces did not want to go into too much detail. One of the main factors of cyber warfare is the surprise, so that the enemy doesn’t know whether it is a technical bug or an attack, Carter said.
So far, the US military has only acknowledged few cases of cyber attacks on computers and networks, and definitely has never announced a cyber attack as a main component of a large military action.