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UK reveals major cyberattack against ISIS

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Britain's leading chief today revealed that the UK's first major cyberattack was against the dreaded Islamic State which hindered the terrorist group's ability to coordinate attacks and suppressed their propaganda.

Jeremy Fleming, director-general of the (GCHQ), told a conference in that the surveillance agency had conducted a "major offensive cyber-campaign" last year against the

"In 2017, there were times when (ISIS) found it almost impossible to spread their hate online, to use their normal channels to spread their rhetoric, or trust their publications," Fleming said during the CyberUK event organised by the

"This is the first time the UK has systematically and persistently degraded an adversary's as part of a wider military campaign. Did it work? I think it did This campaign shows how targeted and effective offensive cyber can be," he said.

In his first public speech since taking charge of in March 2017, the former MI5 agent also attacked over "unacceptable cyber-behaviour" and warned that the deadly nerve agent attack on former Russian and his daughter last month demonstrates recklessness on the part of the Russian state.

"It demonstrates how reckless is prepared to be, how little the Kremlin cares of the rules-based order, how comfortable they are at putting ordinary lives at risk They're blurring the boundaries between criminal and state activity," he said.

"The robust response from the UK and from the international community shows the Kremlin that illegal acts have consequences. And it looks like our expertise on will be in increasing demand," he added.

Under his leadership, GCHQ, often referred to as the UK's listening post, has also announced plans to open a new facility in next year as part of wider measures to expand its network of sites to combat threats that the country faces in a digital age.

"It will create hundreds of high-calibre jobs for people who will have a vital role in keeping this country safe. Our new facility will open up a huge new pool of highly talented, tech-savvy recruits vital to our future success," he said.

In addition to its headquarters in Cheltenham, south-west England, currently has offices at Bude in Cornwall and in north Yorkshire. Last year, the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ, opened its headquarters in

GCHQ, with a workforce of more than 6,000, works alongside MI5 and MI6 in the UK.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 17:00 IST