The UK government on Friday confirmed the use of cyber “offensive” against Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists for the first time since the dreaded terror group swept through large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
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UK defence secretary Michael Fallon told a conference on ‘Waging war through advanced technology’ here earlier this week that while he could not give details, the country had begun the use of cyber weapons against the terror outfit in Syria and Iraq.
“I’m not going into operational specifics, but yes, you know we are conducting military operations against Daesh [ISIS] as part of the international coalition, and I can confirm that we are using offensive cyber for the first time in this campaign,” Fallon said.
According to ‘The Times’, the operations are likely to include penetrating ISIS’ computer networks and not only preventing the group’s militants being able to communicate with each other and the outside world but also inserting false messages to cause confusion.
Fallon also revealed that the government would invest around 265 million pounds in new ways to uncover cyber vulnerabilities within the UK military platforms.
He said: “The UK is a world leader in cybersecurity, and we recognise that cyber-risk is one of the greatest threats we face in the modern world.
“But, as our US colleagues would say, this cannot just be about our defence. It must be about our offence too. It is important that our adversaries know there is a price to pay if they use cyber weapons against us, and that we have the capability to project power in cyberspace as elsewhere.”