Die USA setzen bei ihrem Kampf gegen die ISIS-Terrormilizen in Syrien und im Irak zunehmend auf elektronische Kriegführung, um die Kommunikation der Islamisten zu stören und zu unterbrechen. Ein Ziel sei es, ihr Vertrauen in die eigenen Netzwerke zu untergraben, sagte US-Verteidigungsminister Ashton Carter am (heutigen) Montag bei einer gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz mit Stabschef Joseph Dunford im Pentagon:
The cyber efforts are being used, particularly in Syria, Carter said, to disrupt ISIL’s command and control operations, cause the terrorists to lose confidence in their networks and to interrupt their ability to control the population and the economy.
Cyber is an „important new capability,“ he said. „This is something that’s new in this war, not something you would’ve seen back in the Gulf War. It is an important use of our Cyber Command — and the reason that Cyber Command was established in the first place.“
Associated Press hat ein bisschen mehr dazu:
„As we disrupt the ISIL communications via cyber or other methods, sometimes we do drive them to other means,“ Carter told Pentagon reporters. „Sometimes, those other means are easier for us to listen to. So by taking away some of the ways that they are used to operating, they’re protected and that they regard as an information sanctuary, drives them to other, including older technologies. And so one way or another, it is a very effective tool.“
U.S. officials told The Associated Press last week that the military had ramped up cyber operations against the group. The operations include efforts by U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland, to prevent the group from using the Internet and social media to communicate and distribute propaganda aimed at attracting and inspiring recruits. It could also force them back to technologies like cell phones to communicate.
Interessant ist dabei ein Ansatz, den Dunford erwähnte:
And frankly, they’re going to experience some friction that’s associated with us and some friction that’s just associated with the normal course of events in dealing in the information age. And frankly, we don’t want them to know the difference.“
Der Gegner soll, so die Absicht, im Unsicheren bleiben, ob er nur technische Probleme hat oder gerade Ziel eines Angriffes ist.
Mit den heutigen Aussagen von Carter und Dunford hat die US-Regierung, darauf weist der Guardian hin, erstmals offen zugegeben, die Möglichkeiten der Computer-Kriegführung als Waffe in einer militärischen Operation einzusetzen:
Analysts who have long tracked the development and incorporation of digital weapons into the US military arsenal considered Carter’s acknowledgment to be a milestone.
“The cyberwar seal has been broken in public”, said Peter W Singer of the New America Foundation.
Thus far, the US has only acknowledged using digital weaponry in vague terms. Secrecy has surrounded their use, as the US cyber arsenal has seen operation as part of covert intelligence activities, rather than as a component of an ongoing war.
(Foto: Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, along with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, right, briefs reporters at the Pentagon, Feb. 29, 2016 – DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen)