The UK has conducted a “major offensive cyber-campaign” against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ has revealed.
The operation hindered the group’s ability to coordinate attacks and suppressed their propaganda, former MI5 agent Jeremy Fleming said.
It is the first time the UK has systematically degraded an adversary’s online efforts in a military campaign.
Mr Fleming made the remarks in his first public speech as GCHQ director.
“The outcomes of these operations are wide ranging,” he told the Cyber UK conference in Manchester.
“In 2017 there were times when daesh found it almost impossible to spread their hate online, to use their normal channels to spread their rhetoric, or trust their publications.”
Mr Fleming said the cyber-operations had disrupted the group’s online activities and even destroyed equipment and networks.
“This campaign shows how targeted and effective offensive cyber can be.”