The NY Times of 25 April 2015 ran “US Cyberattacks Target ISIS in a New Line of Combat” featuring the CDR of Cyber Command and DIRNSA (pictured at right) (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/25/us/politics/us-directs-cyberweapons-at-isis-for-first-time.html?_r=0 which is also the photo source)
The article focuses on the cyber mission of disrupting enemy communications and sowing distrust among potential recruits because their communications with the terrorist group are no longer secure.
The use of cyber can be thought of as an extension of President Obama’s philosophy of avoiding the use of troops on the ground and of favoring special operations of all flavors.
The article goes on to describe how these attacks are supposed to be targeting the money trail and by the use of cyber Military Deception (MILDEC). The article then goes on to discuss the balance between the action and the revelation of sources and capabilities.
Conspicuously absent, at least in my opinion, were CyberPSYOP specifics. No one can deny that the Cyberattacks will have a psychological impact and are therefore PSYActs – but what about cyber oriented campaigns designed to hamper recruitment? When the article talks about ‘jumbling’ does it mean altering websites or Social Media to change the message from recruiting to warning the reader to stay away?
What about specific cyber ‘leaflets’, e-mails, SMS, Tweets and other messages aimed at altering the behavior of the target?
Clearly now that the cyber cat is out of the bag, these kinds of actions would seem more than appropriate – if not necessary ones.
If any of y’all out there see any articles describing CyberPSYOP/MISO – please send the links my way!