search slide
search slide
pages bottom

US military hackers are dropping cyberbombs on ISIS targets

In 2016, modern militaries don’t just wage war with guns and bombs. They also wage cyberwar, and apparently that now involves dropping cyberbombs on adversaries.

That’s a term that Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work is using these days in reference to US military attacks carried out against ISIS. Sorry, make that “cyberattacks,” which are part of the Department’s cyber-operations. Those, of course, are coordinated by Cyber Command.

Whatever they actually are, not everyone is keen on Work’s use of the term “cyberbombs.” Not just because slapping the “cyber” prefix on things is often cringeworthy, but because “government lawyers have gone to extraordinary lengths to narrowly limit cyberattacks to highly precise operations with as little collateral damage as possible,” according to the New York Times.

Invoking the image of “bombing,” then, might make outside observers think that the US is getting reckless in their cyber-ops and negatively impacting services for innocent Internet users. It’s also a bit of an oversimplification of what’s Cyber Command is trying to do. The chaos they’re trying to cause isn’t just meant to make it more difficult for IS militants to communicate with each other and recruit new members, though that’s certainly part of it.

They’re also trying to “poison” those communications, sending bogus command that derail IS plans or even lead their operatives into a Cyber Command trap. A real trap, that is, uh, not a cyber-trap. You know, like how Bugs Bunny tricks Daffy Duck into telling Elmer Fudd to shoot him instead of Bugs because it’s duck season.

Leave a Reply

Captcha image