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US defense sec: We're cyber-bombing ISIS

Next-gen radio jamming starts

The United States has confirmed it is attacking computers used by the Islamic State in an effort to wreck its communications systems.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told reporters it is hacking ISIS or Daesh or ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and considers those attacks akin to normal warfare.

"We're bombing ISIL's banks as well as oil wells they've taken over or coerced others into operating on their behalf. We're also using cyber tools to disrupt ISIL's ability to operate and communicate over the virtual battlefield," Secretary Carter said.

"It is beyond [jamming radio communications]. We do that, too. The two enable one another and complement each other, that is electronic warfare delivering through radio frequency means effects of the same kind and cyber. Electronic warfare has been [around] as long as radio has, and obviously, cyber is something new."

Secretary Carter says the US aims to "whack away" and "put an end" to the ISIS threat "fast".

Meanwhile, Daesh sympathizers have launched attacks against Western media and organizations, claiming credit for these distributed denial of service attacks. New York-based intelligence firm Flashpoint has found Daesh bluster on online forums where sympathisers have discussed hacking significant targets including aircraft. So far they lack the skills to do so, the firm says. ®

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