U.S. officially launches cyberwar on Islamic State

(April 11st, 2016) The U.S. government has officially announced that it is launching cyberwarfare against the so-called Islamic State, in the first case of the U.S. publicly disclosing cyberattacks in warfare, although it has acted before against U.S. foes with cyberattacks on, for example, and most famously, Iran in order to slow that nation’s nuclear program.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said: “I have given the Defense Department’s Cyber Command really its first wartime assignment. Even a few years ago, it would not have occurred to a secretary of defense to say, ‘let’s get cyber in the game,’ but here we have real opportunities.”

The U.S. will use its digital tools to weaken the Islamic State’s online communications network and its access to money and trade. Mr. Carter said the aims include undermining “their ability to command their forces, interrupting their ability to plot” and damaging “their finances, their ability to pay people”.