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US drops 'cyberbombs' on ISIS for the first time

The Defense Department is taking its battle with Islamic State terrorists online, the New York Times reports.

The US is targeting ISIS with cyberattacks.

Jean Marmeisse/Corbis

The US has introduced a new tactic in its war against the Islamic State.

The Department of Defense's Cyber Command unit is mounting cyberattacks against the terrorist organization, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The cybercampaign is the latest in a range of military missions being conducted by the US against ISIS. Its aim is to stop the organization from spreading its message, recruiting new members and circulating orders online.

The Cyber Command has placed implants within ISIS's networks in order to study the behavior of members, with the eventual aim of mimicking them to alter their messages and redirect militants in a way that will leave them exposed to US ground or drone operations.

These cyberattacks mark a new approach for the US and have not been widely discussed, with a few exceptions.

"We are dropping cyberbombs," Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work told CNN earlier this month. "We have never done that before."

The Cyber Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and the Department of Defense could not be reached.