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 co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its 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 [an alternative name for Islamic State] found it almost impossible to spread their hate online, to use their normal channels to spread their rhetoric, or trust their publications.”