GCHQ Jammed ISIS Drones & Servers

British intelligence chiefs have revealed details of an operation to undermine the Jihadi terrorist group ISIS that began in 2016 when a secret cyber operation was launched to reduce the effects of its fighters on the battlefield, which involved disabling drones, jamming mobile phones and targeting computer servers to block online propaganda.

Details emerged  after Jeremy Fleming, director of the signals intelligence agency GCHQ and General Sir Patrick Sanders, head of UK Strategic Command spoke to Sky News when Fleming and Patrick said that Islamist militants relied on cyber technology for propaganda, command and control, and attack planning.

GCHQ first admitted three years ago that it had launched an offensive against Isis, but has not previously given any details about the operation. While the UK and allies such as the US have acknowledged using offensive cyber, the specifics of their attack capabilities remain highly classified. 

Fleming said the joint military and GCHQ team had “disrupted the communication of the Isis fighters on the battlefield” and piloted new technology to undermine Isis drone technology. He also said the UK had sought to stem the flow of extremist propaganda by “remotely getting to ISIS servers, getting to the places that they stored their material.... we wanted to deceive them and to misdirect them, to make them less effective, less cohesive and sap their morale.”

At the time, Isis was recruiting fighters as it sought to establish a caliphate across large parts of Iraq and Syria. “It was a very cheap and effective way of waging a terrorist warfare,” Sanders explained. “What we wanted to do was to turn that strength, that dependence that they had on the cyber into a vulnerability, and also to undermine the credibility of their information campaign and of their ideology.”

GCHQ first admitted three years ago that it had launched an offensive against Isis, but has not previously given any details about the operation. While the UK and allies such as the US have acknowledged using offensive cyber, the specifics of their attack capabilities remain highly classifiedGCHQ’s cyber tactics were reinforced on the ground by separate military operations involving special forces, the Iraqi military and local resistance groups, although details of these have not been released.

Other nations, including Russia, China, North Korea and Iran have demonstrated their willingness to use these methods.

The operation against ISIS comes to light a few months after the announcement of  the creation of a UK Cyber Force run jointly by the military and spy agencies to tackle adversaries in the digital realm. The team is expected to significantly increase from a few hundred to 3,000 over the next ten years and will build Britain’s offensive cyber capabilities within a combined unit.

While joint cyber operations are already a feature of modern warfare, some critics warn such activities that fall below the threshold of formal conflict risk being shadowy and unaccountable. 

Hathalyoum:         DroneDJ:         PSBE:        Financial Times:       TheNationalNews:      Tech Register:

You Might Also Read: 

Britain Is At Cyber War Every Day:

 

« Cyber Security Is Crucial For Maritime Shipping
Australia Makes Google & Facebook Pay »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

CYRIN

CYRIN

CYRIN® Cyber Range. Real Tools, Real Attacks, Real Scenarios. See why leading educational institutions and companies in the U.S. have begun to adopt the CYRIN® system.

MIRACL

MIRACL

MIRACL provides the world’s only single step Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which can replace passwords on 100% of mobiles, desktops or even Smart TVs.

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Our Supplier Directory lists 6,000+ specialist cyber security service providers in 128 countries worldwide. IS YOUR ORGANISATION LISTED?

North Infosec Testing (North IT)

North Infosec Testing (North IT)

North IT (North Infosec Testing) are an award-winning provider of web, software, and application penetration testing.

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout enables cyber security professionals to reduce cyber risk to their organization with proactive security solutions, providing immediate improvement in security posture and ROI.

Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS)

Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS)

The Foundation for Strategic Research is France's main independent think tank on strategic, defense and security issues. Cyber security is covered as part of the study areas.

ATSEC Information Security

ATSEC Information Security

ATSEC is an independent, privately-owned company that focuses on providing laboratory and consulting services for information security.

National Authority Against Electronic Attacks (NAAEA) - Greece

National Authority Against Electronic Attacks (NAAEA) - Greece

The National Authority Against Electronic Attacks (NAAEA) is the national computer emergency response team of Greece.

National Agency for Information & Communication Technologies (ANTIC) - Cameroon

National Agency for Information & Communication Technologies (ANTIC) - Cameroon

ANTIC is responsible for regulating the activities of electronic security and regulation of the Internet in Cameroon.

Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT)

Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT)

Fraunhofer SIT is a research centre specialising in all areas of IT security.

Nuspire

Nuspire

Nuspire provide services to protect your network with best-in-class managed detection and response, allowing you to stay focused on managing your business.

Safe Security

Safe Security

Safe Security (formerly Lucideus) provides Cyber risk assessment services and platforms to multiple Fortune 500 companies and governments across the globe.

Scanmeter

Scanmeter

Scanmeter helps identifying vulnerabilities in software and systems before they can be exploited by an attacker.

Data Theorem

Data Theorem

Data Theorem is a leading provider in modern application security. Its core mission is to analyze and secure any modern application anytime, anywhere.

Cyber Risk Institute (CRI)

Cyber Risk Institute (CRI)

CRI is a not-for-profit coalition of financial institutions and trade associations working to protect the global economy by enhancing cybersecurity and resiliency through standardization.

Informatics International

Informatics International

Informatics is a leading ICT provider in Sri Lanka, providing cutting-edge software & infrastructure solutions and services including cyber security.

Baxter Clewis Consulting

Baxter Clewis Consulting

Baxter Clewis are cyber security and compliance experts. We provide Security Consulting, IT Assurance, and Technical Security services.

RMRF Tech

RMRF Tech

RMRF is a team of cybersecurity engineers and penetration testers which specializes in the development of solutions for early cyber threat detection and prevention.

FTx Identity

FTx Identity

FTx Identity is the world's most advanced age verification technology (AVT) and identity management system.

Dexian

Dexian

Dexian is a leading provider of staffing, IT, and workforce solutions with nearly 12,000 employees and 70 locations worldwide.

OrbiSky Systems

OrbiSky Systems

OrbiSky Systems is a British tech startup specializing in data management and cybersecurity solutions.