Soldiers at Cyber Blitz 19 on Aug. 29, 2019, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. (Photo by Edric Thompson/U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command)

Top Secret Documents Show Cyber Command’s Growing Pains in Its Mission Against ISIS

U.S. government documents made public Tuesday show that while a U.S. Cyber Command operation that disrupted ISIS computer networks was largely successful, there were significant shortcomings, including operators having trouble collecting data, interagency deconfliction issues, difficulty vetting targets, and, in at least one case, a close call with the operation being discovered by the adversary.

The documents, shared with CyberScoop via George Washington University’s National Security Archive, show how the command has faced significant internal hurdles as Pentagon leadership has pushed Cyber Command to grow into a well-respected force since its creation in 2009. They include briefings on how Cyber Command measured the effectiveness of Operation Glowing Symphony, a mission carried out in 2016 that was meant to isolate and destroy ISIS networks used to spread the terrorist group’s propaganda.

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